• House #101, Qala-e-Fatullah Street, Lane #1 Kabul, Afghanistan
  • +93 (0) 75 204 3935

A young Afghan medical student turns family planning advocate

A young Afghan medical student turns family planning advocate

Hekmatullah Malikzada, a young, talented, medical student decided to take up part-time Internship assignment of a private provider detailer at the Afghan Social Marketing Organization (ASMO) to promote family planning among general practitioners in Kabul. He got trained by the master trainers of the MoPH and senior medical staff of ASMO on family planning, maternal and child health and how best to share information with the private practitioners and their patients and accomplices to bust the myths and misconceptions and help them to adopt healthy behaviours. It is well-known that the health providers are credible sources of obtaining health information and advice in alleviating the concerns of the intending FP users and help them to adopt FP by counselling and providing method specific information. However, inadequate knowledge and lackadaisical attitude of the private providers with respect to FP methods, patients counselling on FP, deny large number of women and married couples dependent on private sector provisions, an opportunity to clarify such issues, gain accurate information and confidence to adopt FP.

ASMO is implementing a pilot in Kabul training solo private providers and sensitizing their clients and accomplishes on FP and MCH information and educational materials, under USAID-funded global Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus project which harnesses public-private engagement to improve health outcomes in family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health. Hekmatullah pays regular visits to the providers, supplies them with Information, Education, and Communication materials and sample of FP methods as well as sensitizes the potential patients in the providers’ chamber on FP addressing specific concerns. Being aware of his community health problems as well as common barriers among the private providers,
Hekmatullah, is trying to reduce barriers in accessing health information and improve uptake of family planning provisions, including offering referrals to nearby health outlets. “It is so satisfying to sensitize the doctors and their patients and seeing how they are so willingly accepting family planning for the health of the entire family. It gives me practical experience of knowing the real issues on ground and how to handle them. It will make me a better doctor after passing out” – says a visibly happy and motivated Hekmatullah. As a young Afghan man, Hekmatullah is a game changer, striving to transform the communities through better health for a better future for the Afghan men, women and children.

LEAVE A COMMENT