Afghanistan has the world’s second highest infant mortality rate and maternal mortality is also among the world’s highest with around 16% of Afghan women dying while pregnant or during childbirth. The vast majority of these maternal deaths could be prevented if emergency obstetrical services and skilled birth attendants were more readily available.
Just a Drop partnered with the Ministry of Public Health and the Afghan Mother and Child Rescue Charity to establish a comprehensive health centre in Darre in the Panjasher province. In 2007, a new delivery room complex was built at the centre. The closest water source – a river with a high silt content – was unsuitable for drinking or for use in water heaters, so water had to be carried in containers from a spring just under a mile away.
In 2011, thanks to a project sponsored by the Dubai Department of Tourism, Just a Drop began work to enable the clinic to become self sufficient in all aspects of water and sanitation. A sand filtration plant was constructed which cleansed the water of impurities. The river water could then be pumped a holding tank, sent through the filter system and finally into the pipes of the clinic.
The local women now have confidence in the centre and to use it when giving birth. Best of all, this has resulted in a lower infant and maternal mortality rate in the region.
Date of project: 2011