HealthProm’s project manager in Afghanistan, Dr Hussain Ali, is taking 102 solar light units from China to the central village today. Hussain Ali manages and implements HealthProm’s project of decreasing maternal and newborn deaths in the remote and mountainous but peaceful district of Charkent, Balkh province.
The four most powerful systems will go to the three clinics in the district with which the project now works, and also to the project building. The rest will be given to heads of village safe motherhood groups and men’s groups.
For the first time village women will be able to use the Indian sewing machines we provided and children will be able to do school homework without the harmful effects and cost of kerosene lamps. These units can also charge their mobile phones.
We are delighted that the local Afghan trader found by Hussain Ali has shipped these units to Mazar from China for only $78, avoiding all the delays and time wasting caused by corrupt customs officers when we imported medical equipment last year.
Last month the hospital’s maternity department asked us to provide a new autoclave to replace one which had broken down. We treated this as an SOS as the department was carrying out about ten operations a day with unsterile instruments. We located the manufacturer of the autoclave in China, but they could not provide parts. Meanwhile Hussain Ali located the faulty part in Mazar and found a mechanic to fit it, so saving $1,200 for a new autoclave.
Written by: Dr Stewart Britten, HealthProm Project Manager – Afghanistan