Hamoon Clinic, Farah Province
Report, January - April 2012
date of writing of the report: May 2012
Congratulation to all supporters of Hamoon Health Center, as Hamoon received its formal registration with the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan and develops a reputation in the society for its reliable work and treating and supporting hundreds of women and children in Farah province for free.
Hamoon is a small health center with two main doctors: one gynaecologist and one medical and child specialist. The two doctors treat around 150 patients per day; all treatment is free, including medicine and the doctor's consultation fee. The number of patients visiting the clinic is high but only a limited number of patients can be registered for treatment per day.
OPAWC tried its best to hire a skilled gynaecologist for the clinic as this was the most urgent need. Unfortunately the search was not crowned by success. Farah is a very remote province, where education, health and the general economy do not receive much government attention and we could not find a gynecologist in the province. When OPAWC tried to hire a gynaecologist from Herat or Kabul possible candidates asked for a salary of more than $2500 to cover travel, rent for a house and living expenses. As OPAWC is weak in the financial field we could not afford this. We continue to search for a gynaecologist with an affordable salary.
OPAWC plans to turn one room into a laboratory for which there is a great need, and also set aside one room for the treatment of broken bones. Lack of funds prevented us from proceeding with this plan. We hope to be able to do so in future we.
Almost 10 years have passed since the clinic was first opened to patients. During that period the center has earned a reputation of being the only reliable medical center. As the entire population was dependant on the ill-equipped state-run hospital, establishment of this clinic was a blessing for the people. Unlike the state-run hospital this clinic, in addition to free treatment, does not charge for medicine. This was another factor that caused this small health center to have hundreds of visitors daily.
People journey for hours from very remote villages and wait hours and sometimes days for their turn. Despite the limited number of patients being registered daily, the result and impact of this clinic on the people has been significant. In Afghanistan, particularly in remote areas like Farah, the great difficulty they are facing is the problem of health care. For most people it is almost impossible to pay the exorbitant doctor's fees and medicine.
As mentioned above, Hamoon Health Center become very famous in the province. Wherever one went into any corner of the province people knew about Hamoon Health Center and expressed their happiness and thanks. Farah is a poor province, poorer than others, and medical treatment is big challenge for its people.
OPAWC asked for formal registration of Hamoon with the Ministry of Public Health. Initially the Ministry refused and delayed the procedure for around 5 to 6 months. But it did a survey in Farah and asked the Health Section of the provincial Ministry of health in Farah, and as a result it was satisifed about the clinic and agreed to register Hamoon formally. This was the biggest achievement for Hamoon Health Center.
The four months January - April 2012 were mostly concerned with awareness issues. The health team of Hamoon (one doctor, one nurse and other speakers) traveled to secure districts of Farah Province with an awareness program about the following issues:
- Feeding new born babies with breast milk
- Importance of breast milk for babies
- Role of an educated mother in the family
- Women's Rights
- Violence against women in the rural areas
- Bad effects of the loss of a parent on children etc.
Some photos from the awareness program in the field
Monitoring and reporting
OPAWC's Monitoring Team went to Farah Province for evaluation of the Clinic during the reporting period. The team met with staff to evaluate their activities and also met the Responsible of the provincial Ministry of Public Health. Patients and staff were happy about the operation of clinic. The staff asked for some more medicine, to increase the number of daily registrations, and to increase their salary. OPAWC will try to accommodate these requests when its financial situation allows.
The funds to operate Hamoon Clinic are curently supplied by Planet Wheeler. OPAWC’s Financial Committee allocated the $30,000 received in October 2011 for the seven month period October 2011 - April 2012. OPAWC gratefully acknowledges Planet Wheeler's support.