Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Return to Rabia Balkhi

Over the next few days, we will be publishing updates from HEEDA's newest member, Yagana Parwak. Click here for a brief bio of Yagana.

Yagana jaan spent a few weeks in Kabul this past May, working on various HEEDA projects and making careful observations. Please follow along with her blogs and please be sure to share!

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---     May 25, 2015 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---     

My first visit to Rabia Balkhi Hospital was an eye-opening experience. Resources and funding are scarce - doctors and nurses struggle to provide care for the crowds of patients that come through. For example, in the NICU, there were three infants in a space designed for one. A NICU nurse informed that the unit is almost always overwhelmed, particularly in the winter when the weather gets cold. The season costs many newborns, especially premature babies, their lives. Last year, HEEDA brought Embrace infant warmers to Afghanistan, which I got to see in use. The project was very successful, and will be expanded to Kabul Ambulances within the next week. 

In the doctor’s area the topic of conversation was Pampers. There was a recent donation, in which the donor decided to buy Pampers for Rabi Balkhi. Although the hospital personnel recognized this as a genuine gesture, they spoke of how necessary it is for organizations and donors communicate with them to determine their needs. After all, they do have firsthand experience, and would know better than anyone else what patients and the hospitals most urgently require.

This made me reflect on how little I know. As a student who has been born and raised in America, I have access to many resources, but am completely uneducated when it comes to the actual problems that the people of Afghanistan face. I identify as Afghan-American, but I have yet to realize what the responsibility and accountability the joining of these two words means.