Hamoon Clinic, Farah Province
Progress Report, 2014
Project Title: Hamoon Health Centre
Project Location: Farah
Donor: Planet Wheeler, CISDA Italy and SAWA-Australia (SA)
Beneficiaries: women and children
US$50,000 from Planet Wheeler for the operating budget
US$13,388 from SAWA-Australia (SA) for a new ambulance
Total expenses: US$73,233
Allocation Period: January 2014 to December 2014
Reporting Period: 2014
Date of writing the report: January2015
Hamoon Clinic or Health Center is a small health center with two main doctors: one nurse gynaecologist, and one medical and child specialist who together treat around 120 patients per day. All treatment is free, including medicine and the doctor consultation fee. The number of patients visiting the clinic is high, but only a limited number of patients are being registered per day for treatment.
The security situation in the province is of major concern. According to Afghan television Bakwa district of Farah povince has turned into a center for weapons and drug dealing and is now the Taliban's main base in the west zone. Dozens if not hundreds of terrorist groups, some aligning themselves with ISIS, operate in the province. Women do not feel safe and comfortable when traveling, which makes transportation support an important aspect of the Centre's work.
The project's main objective is to provide basic health care to Farah people, particularly women and children who have been denied access to proper health care. Since Farah lies at the far west of the country it has seen little attention from aid agencies and government.
During the 13 years of its operation the health center has earned the reputation of being the only reliable medical center in the province. As the entire population of Afghanistan's largest province with a population of around 900,000 people depended on the ill-equipped state run hospital, establishment of this clinic was a blessing for them. Unlike the state run hospital this clinic, in addition to free treatment, does not charge for medicine. This was another factor which caused people to flock to this small health center, which soon had hundreds of visitors. People make journeys of hours from very remote villages and wait hours and sometime days for their turn to be attended to. Today the Hamoon Health Center is famous in the province. Wherever one goes to any corner of the province everyone knows about Hamoon Health Center and speaks highly of it.
Despite the limited number of patients being registered daily, the impact of this clinic for the people has been significant. In Afghanistan, particularly in remote areas like Farah, health care is one of the biggest problems. Most people find it impossible to pay the exorbitant doctor fees and medicine cost.
Achievements during 2014
For 2014 OPAWC planned to build a laboratory and a physiotherapy room. Eventually, after a long wait, funds were found to convert one room into a laboratory, while the physiotherapy room is still on the list of projects. We hope that in future we will be able to establish a physiotherapy room with the support of our kind and humanity loving donors and supporters.
Establishing a blood test laboratory was a real revolution for the people of Farah, and the Hamoon Laboratory has become very important in the city within a short time. Before it became available people had to go to Herat or Kandahar or even Kabul for a simple blood test and had to borrow money for going to other provinces to save their lives. Now they are happy to get their result in their own home town for free. They express their love and thanks to all those who take their needs to their hearts.
In March 2014 OPAWC was able to buy a new ambulance with the help of its Australian supporters and CISDA Italy.
Recently Hamoon received a well equipped ultrasound machine from its supporters from Australia. It was originally expected to become available in December, but a suicide bombing in Kabul delayed its arrival to January 2015. Having the possibility to check pregnancies with ultrasound is another step to challenge the various fundamentalist parties in the region that try to impede Hamoon's progress and a great step forward to serve the people day by day. Soon a qualified person will be hired to start the operation of the machine. OPAWC and staff in Hamoon and their patients express their love and thanks to all loving supporters.
In March a heavy storm damaged the panels of the solar energy system that provides continuous supply of electricity to the sample refrigerator and various parts of the building. The system was repaired, and all personnel are happy to again have working fans during the hot summer.
A new water well was dug again and now it gives enough water to all patients and staff, and a water storage tanker was bought to store water for the time when there is no electricity.
Awareness programs (Seminars and Trainings):
Several trainings and seminars were held in Hamoon Health Center during 2014. The programs covered mostly the issues of women’s rights, violence against women and ways to protect women. Other workshops dealt with the problem how to keep children from becoming drug addicts, benefits of mother’s milk for babies, and gynecologist's advice for women in the clinic.
As reported on earlier occasions the greatest need was and still is a fully qualified gynecologist. OPAWC tried its best to hire a skilled gynecologist but failed to find one because of Farah's remote location and neglect of its education, health and economy by the government. For this reason we failed to find a gynecologist in the province, and when we tried to hire one from Herat or Kabul we found that we could not afford the demanded salary of more than $3500. As OPAWC is weak in the financial field so could not do this. We continue to search for one with an affordable salary.
Recently the person who worked as administrator of the Health Centre and also volunteered much of his time in other activities of the Centre got seriously injured in a roadside bomb explosion. OPAWC helped him by sending him to Herat for better treatment. He is fine now but cannot work for some time. OPAWC hired another person to help the patients not to face any difficulties during his absence.
Monitoring and reporting
The OPAWC Monitoring Team went to Farah Province for evaluation of the Clinic. It met with staff to evaluate their activities. It also met the Responsible of the Ministry of Public Health in Farah. It returned full of satisfaction, as patients and staff were happy about the operation of the Clinic.
The staff had asked for some more medicine and increasing of registration numbers as they felt the great need of patients. They were very happy about the laboratory and solar energy system and for having a good ambulance. They also asked for an increase in their salaries and to try to establish the physiotherapy section as well. The OPAWC team told them that OPAWC is trying to find additional funding but cannot promise anything for the time being.
OPAWC’s Financial Committee allocated the total funding of the operating budget for the year, of which $50,000 were received from the Planet Wheeler Foundation.The new ambulance was purchased from funds raised by SAWA-Australia (SA) through a crowd funding drive.