It’s not unusual for pregnant women in Afghanistan to have little access to health care professionals: no prenatal care, no paediatric care for babies or infants. In addition, families might not have enough food or clothing, so midwives often need donations of clothes to give to new-born babies.
The Linda Norgrove Foundation is funding a pilot project in Herat, in western Afghanistan, supporting mothers and children suffering from extreme economic hardship and malnutrition.
The CHEERing Grow Clinic in Herat is run by three Afghan women: Samana, a midwife, Somaye, a qualified doctor, and Basira, an anaesthesiology student.
These women are now providing healthcare for mothers, babies, and children two days a week. This includes weighing and measuring babies, providing medical treatment, and managing cases of malnourished children.
Dr Somaye also gives weekly classes to educates mothers on vital topics such as breastfeeding, dental health, and worm prevention.
CHEERing (Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research in Greece) has a track record of working with Afghan refugees in Greece. Co-ordinated by the Afghan team in Greece, CHEERing works with colleagues in Herat to support mothers and infants, fight for women’s rights, enable access to healthcare, and provide work for women working in health.