Bamyan, Afghanistan, 20 April 2013 - The Foundation Laying Ceremony marking the start of construction of the new Bamyan Provincial Hospital (BPH) was held on 18 April 2013 in Bamyan. The new building, which is a project of the Aga Khan Health Services supported by Canada, is expected to be completed by March 2015. The BPH will offer an additional 86 beds for pediatric, obstetric and gynecologic care in a region where women’s access to healthcare has been severely limited. The new BPH will be constructed by the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services on 6.4 acres of land allocated by the Bamyan Municipality at the Mullah Ghulam site. It will be managed by Aga Khan Health Service of Afghanistan (AKHS, A).
The guests of honour at the Foundation Laying Ceremony were: H.E. Mr. Ahmad Jan Naeem, Deputy Minister of Public Health of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; H.E. Dr. Habiba Sarabi, Governor of Bamyan; Mr. Abdul Rahman Shahidani, Member of Parliament for Bamyan; H.E. Nurjehan Mawani, Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) to Afghanistan; and Dr. Gijs Walraven, Director of Health for AKDN. Also in attendance at the ceremony were representatives of the Bamyan provincial government and municipality, AKDN agencies working in Afghanistan, as well as staff of the current BPH and members of the local community.
Underlining AKDN’s commitment to the country and the importance of partnerships, Nurjehan Mawani noted: “This new hospital represents AKDN’s long-term commitment to the development of Afghanistan working in close cooperation with all levels of Government, Parliament, communities and international partners, and this case Canada. It is this alignment of priories and support of the Ministry of Public Health that enables AKDN to successfully expand access to quality health care and bring it to remote areas.”
We are pleased that we have reached this milestone and look forward to seeing the new hospital up and running, providing the best possible quality care for mothers and children of Bamyan Province," said the Canadian Minister of International Cooperation Julian Fantino. "Canada is proud to be delivering on our largest initiative for Afghanistan under the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health".
Dr. Ahmad Jan Naeem, Deputy Minister of Health in Policy and Planning, said during the ceremony that “the foundation stone laying for a new hospital is another step to bring high standard in the health sector and to provide quality health services in the country.”
Speaking at the event, Dr. Walraven shared the important changes undergone by the existing hospital: “The construction of this new facility will substantially increase the capacity of the existing hospital to meet the needs of the growing number of patients. The hospital has been managed by AKHS since 2004 and even in this short time period, it has been transformed from a 35-bed district hospital -- 15 of which were in tents -- to a 100-bed facility offering a wide range of services, including maternal and child health care, emergency care, internal medicine, surgery, diagnostics and dentistry. ”
In 2012, the existing hospital was the first ever provincial medical facility in Afghanistan to be internationally certified for the quality of service delivered. The new BPH follows the initial plan to establish a comprehensive hospital responding to the health care needs of Bamyan’s population of 418,000.
For further information please contact: Dr. Shafiq Mirzazada
Aga Khan Health Service, Afghanistan
Tel: +93(0) 793 203 044
Notes: Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Afghanistan
The Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Afghanistan (MNCH‐Afgh) is a comprehensive programme that focuses on a number of urgent public health problems in Afghanistan, and contributes to addressing the underlying and immediate causes of maternal and child death. From February 2012 – March 2015, the MNCH‐Afgh programme aims to improve health for women, newborns and children under five in select areas in Bamyan and Badakhshan, Afghanistan. At the intermediate outcome level the program will contribute to (1) improving the quality of gender‐sensitive and equitable health care services for women, newborns and children under five and (2) improving health practices, including nutrition, by women, children under five and men. The program is fully aligned with the Government of Afghanistan’s health sector strategy and the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and Enhanced Package of Health Services (EPHS) and other key policies related to health. It aims to build strong indigenous capacity for improved MNCH service delivery and professional and continuing education for MNCH in Afghanistan. This is a CAD 50 million program with CAD 40 million in support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and CAD 10 million in support from Aga Khan Foundation Canada. The program is expected to reach an estimated 1,287,700 people, including 592,416 women and 257,540 children.