Transforming Lives

Every day, all over the world, USAID brings peace to those who endure violence, health to those who struggle with sickness, and prosperity to those who live in poverty. It is these individuals — these uncounted thousands of lives — that are the true measure of USAID’s successes and the true face of USAID's programs.

Baghlan Province suffers from the intrusion of insurgent elements, which are creating problems for Afghan and international security forces by contributing to drug trafficking and launching suicide attacks. The situation requires stabilization efforts to ensure security and prevent the spread of insurgency to neighboring provinces.

Vegetables are grown across Afghanistan’s eastern region and provide a good reliable source of income for farmers. Most of the produce is sold in local markets, yielding lower prices when compared to upscale national and international markets.
USAID established eight commercial production farms in various districts of Nangarhar Province. Though not certified, these farms closely follow Global GAP standards.

In just over a week, the sale of composted organic waste has raised 20,600 Afghani ($460) for the Kandahar City municipal government, the first of what is to become a regular ‘green’ revenue source for the municipality. Nutrient rich soil has been separated from trash being cleaned up as part of a project funded by USAID.

USAID works with community development councils and other eligible grassroots organizations to implement small-scale community-level projects in 14 provinces in the north, west, and central regions of Afghanistan. As a part of USAID’s efforts to create a link between communities and local government, the USAID-funded Women’s Mentoring Program in Baghlan Province worked in cooperation with the Baghlan Provincial Line Department of Women’s Affairs to enhance women’s knowledge on Islamic issues, women’s rights, government regulations, civil rights, conflict resolution, and violence against women

Thirty years of war and civil strife has had a crippling effect on Afghanistan’s civil-society and health services, leading to some of the highest infant, child, and maternal mortality rates in the world. In 2002, Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health initiated strategic efforts to address the health needs of Afghan society, in order to rebuild Afghanistan’s public health services and infrastructure and to develop closer ties to the non-governmental organization community.

Almost 90 percent of the people of Bamyan Province rely on potato crops as their primary source of income. The province is well-known for its good quality potatoes countrywide. Farmers use traditional farming methods to plant their crops. Recently, a potato growing community in the province established the Potato Cooperative Association, with the aim to unify farmers, increase crop outputs and production, and improve their income.

The 520-bed Jalalabad Public Health Hospital in Nangarhar Province is large and exceptionally busy with an average of 40,000 to 50,000 outpatients and 1,700 baby deliveries per month. "For these reasons, hospital staff members were not enthusiastic about having to attend another meeting," said Medical Director Dr. Sayed Afandi. But in October 2009, a Drug and Therapeutics Committee was established at this busy hospital and staff attitudes began to change.

When USAID completed the 103 kilometer Keshim-to-Faizabad Road in December 2010, increased traffic and decreased travel times led to improved trade opportunities along the corridor. Sensing these opportunities, Janatti, a local businessman, established a shop sixteen kilometers from Keshim City about six months before the road was finished. After the road was paved, the shop’s customer base swelled. Today, Janatti keeps his shop open 13 hours a day to serve drivers passing on the road.

The Ministry of Public Health maintains 53 pharmacy stores, which are managed by 118 pharmacists. These government operated pharmacies are often the first source of contact for low-income patients. However, a number of challenges need to be overcome in order to provide quality patient care including poor dispensing practices and record keeping, insufficient knowledge of medicines listed in Afghanistan Essential Drug List and Licensed Drug List, weak communication with patients concerning their medications, and avoidance of dialogue with doctors to clarify prescriptions regarding dose and duration.

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Last updated: January 20, 2015