Health Partners International of Canada’s Capacity Building and Access to Medicines project (CBAM) has been working in Kabul, Afghanistan’s underfunded public hospitals for the past three years and has successfully provided more than 122,000 crucial medical treatments to sick Afghans. This marks a particularly successful period for the project as the number of treatments provided has more than doubled in the last year.
In that same time period the project shipped approximately 44,000 lbs of medical supplies to our partner hospitals that are often short of basic medical supplies. It is not unusual for an Afghan doctor to have to purchase their own medical supplies or medication at the local bazaar in order to do their job properly.
We have recently added two new clinics to our list of hospital partners in Kabul. Each clinic contributes a unique element to the network of healthcare partners that HPIC has been developing in Kabul.
The Central Polyclinic, established in 1985 by the Ministry of Public Health, has received limited support from the Afghan government. The clinic has an annual budget of $1,156 CDN for pharmaceutical purchases. It is a struggle for the clinic to adequately treat the 700-1000 patients who arrive daily seeking assistance within that budget. The partnership between our CBAM project and the clinic will not only provide more donated Canadian medicines but will also greatly improve the organization’s pharmaceutical management systems.
The second new partner to the CBAM project is The Emergency Health Services Clinic, which has shown strong commitment to serving the fast-growing population of the capital city, including the camps of Internally Displaced People (IDPs). The clinic serves approximately 50-60 people a day and has an annual budget of $745 CDN a year for pharmaceuticals. The CBAM project will bring donated medicines and improved pharmaceutical management frameworks to this clinic as well.
The CBAM project in Afghanistan has been working to provide better access to healthcare for Afghans, especially women and children, by shipping much needed medicines and supplies and by providing support to various branches of the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.
We have worked to develop capacity and provided important staff training within the Ministry’s Central Medical Storage, the Quality Control Laboratory, the Pharmaceutical Donations office and are leading an assessment of the national pharmaceutical industry in Afghanistan. We are also improving pharmaceutical management within our partner hospitals and providing needed training for pharmacists and dispensary staff.
By working in concert with the Ministry of Public Health and local healthcare institutions the CBAM project is an important effort contributing to the rebuilding of the healthcare system for all Afghans.