Health Care Initiatives Making a Difference in Afghanistan
The people of Afghanistan have faced great adversity in
the past several decades, but many new initiatives are aiming to help families
living in poverty. Improvements to the health care infrastructure in Afghanistan
are crucial to saving lives and giving children a chance to become healthy
adults, and efforts from the United States are helping to make the situation
better. But there is still much to be done.
Foreign Aid Aims to
Improve Health Care
When most people think of U.S. operations in
Afghanistan, they think of a strong military presence. However, the country has
provided millions of dollars in foreign aid to improve public health care in the
Middle Eastern nation, which has seen much of its infrastructure destroyed
during decades of warfare.
The U.S. has invested approximately $236 million in aid
for basic health care through a program called Partnership Contracts for Health,
and recent studies have shown that these contributions have already made a major
difference in the lives of children and families living in poverty. Funds have
been largely aimed at providing immunizations, prenatal exams and other
preventative care, according to The Washington Post.
It seems like these
efforts are paying off, as the general health of the Afghan people is improving
at a rapid rate. According to the 2010
Afghanistan Mortality Survey, conducted by the country's Ministry of Health,
life expectancy jumped from 42 years to 62 years from 2004 to 2010. The 20-year
increase is partly due to a number of health care improvements, including a
large focus on the reduction of child deaths. Now, approximately 100,000 Afghan
children who would have once been at risk for untimely deaths are kept alive
thanks to proper health care, according to The Atlantic magazine.
Just the First Step
While improving health
care options for children in need is a step in the right direction, there is
still much to be done in
Afghanistan, where ChildFund has worked since 2001. International aid is
often complicated by politics, and with Afghanistan still in need of billions
more dollars for further improvements, support from nongovernmental
organizations is of paramount importance.
Children and their
families throughout Afghanistan endure a tremendous amount of adversity on a
daily basis. Improving access to lifesaving health care, as well as providing
nutritious food and clean drinking water, can go a long way toward ensuring
these children and their families are given a chance to break out of the cycle
of generational poverty.
To help ChildFund
provide Afghan children with the resources they need to survive and become
healthy and independent adults, please consider making a donation to our Children's
Greatest Needs fund. Your support can help a child in need by allowing
ChildFund to allocate funds toward the greatest needs in one of the countries we