Holistic Health for Mother and Baby
Holistic Health for Mother and Baby
Not-for-profitYear launched: 1995
Country of Operation
- Maternal, newborn and child health
SummaryThe Afghan Institute of Learning uses a multi-faceted approach to healthcare for pregnant Afghan women, combining health education and care. AIL has health clinics, health education workshops, prenatal and postnatal care and trains nurses, midwives, community health workers and rural traditional b
There are many components that come together to create a successful birth for both infant and mother. Many programs focus only one area only or address topics in only one forum. AIL addresses multiple aspects of birthing at once in a variety of venues such as hygiene, family planning, reproductive and birth education, cultural issues, nutrition, delivery options, and pre and postnatal care of mother and child.
AIL provides health education and health services to thousands of Afghan women and children annually through its clinics, mobile clinics , Learning Centers, supported schools and through Community Health Workers. AIL's goals include, to provide quality healthcare and educate the Afghan people in how to be healthy and to lower the
Key program components
AIL has 4 clinics in Afghanistan: two in Kabul Province and two in Herat Province providing medical treatment and health education to every patient. The clinics treat numerous ailments from colds to injuries and provide vaccinations and reproductive services to many women. AIL’s approach is to interlink health and education programs creating a more pervasive care model that creates systemic change in health of populations. More in-depth health education workshops are offered through clinics on various subjects including, reproductive health, school health, pregnancy, diseases, sanitation and nutrition. These workshops are very popular. AIL disseminates health education wherever possible including through teachers and Community Health Workers (CHWs).
Community Health Worker Program
Working with the Herat Ministry of Health, AIL runs Community Health Worker (CHW) posts with trained CHWs. Each CHW team has two members, a male and female who are chosen by each village and work at the village level. They have some education and some female members have been educated at AIL Learning Centers. The basic training takes several months after which time the CHWs meet monthly with clinic staff and are given additional training when needed.
CHWs refer villagers to clinics, give first aid, provide contraceptives that have been prescribed through the clinic, make pre and postnatal visits, treat ailments such as ARI and diarrhea, work with malnourished children and their mothers and give health education on a number of different topics. The CHW program has been very successful, particularly in the area of health education. The CHWs are the closest to the people in the community and are most likely to know when there is a health situation that needs to be referred to a clinic, even if the patient does not initially seek their help. Since they are trusted, patients are more likely to seek further medical treatment with their recommendation which is a great help in these rural settings.
Expectant Mother Program
One of AIL’s workshops is the Expectant Mother Workshop, where patients are referred to a workshop by a clinic or a Community Health Worker. The workshop takes less than 3 hours on one day and provides expectant mothers and their birth attendants with detailed health education relating to pregnancy, normal and complicated delivery, breastfeeding and infant care and high risk factors and signs of problems for mother or baby. The training is aimed at mothers who have limited access to deliver at clinics or hospitals. The goal of the Expectant Mother Workshop is to reduce maternal and infant injuries and deaths during childbirth and the immediate aftermath through access to information on proper care and with encouragement to go to a clinic or hospital for delivery if possible. Following the workshop, a basic delivery kit is given to each pregnant woman and a scarf to each caregiver.
All of the above program elements c
Innovations for Improved Maternal and Child Health through Midwives
- The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL)Not-for-profit