Empowerment Health is excited to announce its new Urban Community Health Worker (CHW) program in the Murad Khane community of Kabul. EH will be partnering with Dr. Jerry Umanos, a local Afghan team of affiliates of the Ferozkoh Family Health Center (FFHC) and Dr. W, who will act as the project coordinator.
About the Community: Murad Khane
Murad Khane is a highly populated central district of Kabul adjacent to the Kabul River. It encompasses both residences and commercial areas including a large market. Several notable mosques are located in this primarily Hazara neighborhood including one of the city’s main Shia mosques. Originally covered in trash, recent excavation and renovation by the Turquoise Mountain Foundation have restored some of the houses and open space for businesses, a computer training facility, and medical center [Kvinta, 2011 #1254].
The Urban CHW program in Murad Khane will take on a unique role focusing primarily on education and preventive services rather than treatment. The program will include several weeks in the classroom, focusing on health education that is relevant to the Murad Khane community. Following four weeks in the classroom, Murad Khane community workers will spend two weeks in their community applying their tailored knowledge to:
- Identify pregnant women in the community for prenatal classes
- Stress the importance of vaccinations and TB tests
- Build relationships to facilitate the best care for newborns and new mothers
With a population of about 1,500, Murad Khane’s CHW’s will be responsible for up to 30 families. The inaugural class is expected to be six CHWs.
The Urban CHW program has significant room for growth. There is a population increase of 40 to 60 thousand within 2 km of the Murad Khane clinic, which will allow future CHWs to reach at-risk communities without being forced to leave their own in Murad Khane. Empowerment Health anticipates incorporating health education programs in local mosques and schools, to directly reach other members of the community. With experience and research, the CHW program will be adjusted and tailored to the most receptive communities.
Dr. W promised her father that she would go to medical school to make a living and serve many people. A military veteran, Dr. W’s father was dedicated to serving the poor and passed his compassion on to his daughter. Dr. W was forced to leave medical school when the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan. During this time, she worked with Save the Children as a community health trainer. She completed medical school after the Taliban was overthrown, delivered twins during her residency, and now works in the Murad Khane clinic.