For over 15 years, Dr. Hamidullah Saljuqi and Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (CHA) have used Hesperian materials in their development work in Afghanistan. However, we were unaware of this work until recently when Dr. Saljuqi contacted us and informed us that CHA had translated Where Women Have No Doctor and A Book for Midwives into Dari over 10 years ago to use in their health programs. We were very excited to learn about the work of CHA, and to “discover” a partner that is acknowledged as one of the most relevant organizations for humanitarian assistance and social development in Afghanistan.
CHA was created in 1987 by a team of educated and experienced Afghan volunteers with the goal of raising community awareness of social justice issues. Over the past two decades CHA has expanded to play an important role in providing emergency assistance and delivering basic services in health, agriculture, education and infrastructure rehabilitation in Afghanistan. CHA began its health activities with training first aid workers to provide rescue services for war victims. Their health activities grew to providing vaccines and maternal and child health services in underserved areas.
We asked Dr. Hamidullah Saljuqi, Director of CHA, how they have used Hesperian health materials in their work, and he sent us the following letter.
“Where There is No Doctor” was the valuable book introduced to me and our team with Hesperian Foundation’s publications in 1996- 1997 when we started to design training program for Village Health Volunteers (VHVs) and School Health Volunteers (SHVs). As a good and relevant resource it fulfilled our requirements for designing curriculum for VHVs. In 2003-2004 CHA started training of Community Midwives in Farah province- Afghanistan for promoting skilled birth attendances as part of newly designed national health strategy.
In 1999, I got two new books from Hesperian Foundation publications through a partner organization working in Afghanistan called (EO/CA = Ecumenical office/Christian Aid). I found it very interesting with very easy and demonstrative ways for understanding how to save motherhood and newborn and how to address the women problems which were very critical in Afghanistan. CHA had started working with it training Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and family planning services. Wow; these two books were the ones we were looking for. Soon after we started reading it and went on to translate part of it into Dari (our national language). These two books were “A Book for Midwives” and “Where Women Have No Doctor”.
“A Book for Midwives” was the 1st book translated by CHA in 1999, followed by translation of “Where Women Have No Doctor” in 2000.
The destructive effects of longstanding conflict in Afghanistan was not only tangible on the economy, basic infrastructures, government administration, health, education, agriculture and other vital aspects of life for Afghan communities, but also on human and technical resources and capacities. All these effects worsened by appearance of Taliban regime which made impossible for female staff to work and even pictures were prohibited.
It was more risky to work on translation and printing of these books during Taliban time inside Afghanistan and this is why we shifted our working place to Peshawar- Pakistan for completion of the translation and printing of the books.
It was a new beginning for CHA’s health sector; we established our Health Technical Support Unit and continued with developing health resources and education materials as well as conducting training for health related staff and community health volunteers.
The following books, manuals and teaching aid materials are translated, developed and printed by CHA:
- “A Book for Midwives” translated in Dari.
- “Where Women Have No Doctor translated” in to Dari.
- “Guidelines for Rational Use of Drugs” translated in Dari.
- “Contraceptive – Your Questions Answered” translated in Dari.
- “The Pills and Other Hormonal Contraceptives” translated in Dari.
- “Life Saving Skill for Midwives” translated in Dari.
- “Guidelines for Health centers management” prepared by CHA.
- “Guidelines for Village Health Volunteers (VHVs) and TBAs developed by CHA.
- “Manual of Trainers Guides” developed and adapted by CHA.
- “Manual for clinic nurses” developed and adapted by CHA.
- “Manual for clinic midwives” developed and adapted by CHA.
- “Manual of Family planning for health facilities staff” developed and adapted by CHA.
- “Supervision and Staff support” developed by CHA.
- “Drug Stock Management” translated by CHA.
- “Essentials of Delivery” translated and adapted by CHA.
- “Health Education Guide for health staff” prepared by CHA.
- Eight kinds of different fillip charts.
- Six kinds of different posters.
- Different protocols mainly on reproductive health.
Fortunately in December 2008, I visited the Hesperian website and started contacting the Hesperian team directly which happily got encouraging response from Ms. Tawnia Litwin. The new books from Hesperian introduced to me and we received copies of the new books.
“A Community Guide to Environmental Health” is currently being translated by CHA team to Dari language. CHA received a small grant from Hesperian for its translation and publication. Up to November 9th, 2009 more than 400 pages of the mentioned book is translated as first draft in to Dari Language.
Special thanks on behalf of CHA and the Afghanistan people for Hesperian team for their precious work and resources for promoting a healthy world.
Dr. Hamidullah Saljuqi
Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (CHA)
House#2nd, 3rd & 4th, end of 5th Street of Siloo, University area, Near to Sangkasha mosque