Women and children treated
Start of activities
Around 600 babies are born each month at our Maternity Centre.
In June 2003, EMERGENCY opened a Maternity Centre in Anabah, Afghanistan, to provide antenatal, gynaecological, obstetric, and neonatal care to the population of the Panjshir Valley and surrounding provinces. In 2015, the Maternity Centre underwent an expansion, with an expanded state-of-the-art wing improving its facilities and increasing the number of beds available.
Our Mission and Work
Panjshir was the first place in Afghanistan where an EMERGENCY facility opened, with the construction of our Surgical Centre in 1999.
Rossella Miccio, President of EMERGENCY.
The Anabah Maternity Centre remains the only specialised and completely free facility of its kind in an area with a population of over 250,000 people. It is open 24/7 and works alongside our network of First Aid Posts (FAPs) and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) spread throughout the Panjshir Valley and surrounding areas, to ensure as many women as possible have access to its services. These First Aid Posts and Primary Healthcare Centres also ensure that patients and their new-born babies who travel to the Maternity Centre from outside Panjshir can receive continuity of care and follow-up examinations closer to home.
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In these years of activity, the Maternity Center has proven to be a necessary and fundamental facility for maternal and child health in the area: the more than 470,000 visits made and the more than 70,000 babies born there testify to this, as do the thanks of the patients and the many women who come even from far away.
Today, because of the severe economic crisis that the country is going through – which involves exorbitant fuel prices, among other things – and the general perception of insecurity, people limit their movements as much as possible: we see the consequences of this also on the status of women who come to the Center, which is increasingly precarious.
In the first 6 months of 2022, we ensured about 2,700 safe deliveries: an average of 15 babies born every day.
The Anabah Maternity Centre is more than just a medical facility
EMERGENCY is committed to sustainable healthcare projects and building the capacity of Afghan medical professionals. The Anabah Maternity Centre provides theoretical and practical medical education, with many trainees continuing to work at the centre after graduating. The Maternity Centre is recognised by the Afghan Ministry of Health as a national training centre for specialisation in paediatrics and gynaecology, and we are continually training both male and female doctors in these specialisations.
“There have been many wars in Afghanistan and women have suffered a lot. Now, they want to learn new things, they want to be educated and become professionals. I think that the merits of EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre go beyond the surgical and medical treatment provided to an area inhabited by more than 1 million people. For women in our region, the Maternity Centre has become a symbol and place of emancipation. Here they now have the chance to work, to receive a high standard of training, and to have a role and a status within their communities that goes beyond being a wife or a mother.”
– Marja, Coordinator of the national midwifery team in Anabah, Afghanistan
The New Facility
By 2015, the Anabah Maternity Centre had become too small to meet the increasing demand for maternal healthcare from both local women and patients who visit us from outside the province. In September of 2015, we therefore made the decision to enlarge the Maternity Centre by building a new block with four delivery rooms; operating theatres; a neonatal intensive care ward and step-down unit; an intensive care unit for women suffering birth complications; a clinic; a gynaecology ward; a follow-up area; and labour area. The centre also runs an antenatal programme aimed at monitoring pregnancies in order to promptly identify complications. For an overall cost of €1.5m, various professionals and technicians from both Afghanistan and abroad constructed a state-of-the-art facility capable of providing care and more extensive gynaecological and neonatal services.
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A Quiet Revolution
A Quiet Revolution is a report by EMERGENCY that explores the Anabah Maternity Centre’s impact on women’s health in Afghanistan and its role empowering women in the local community.
If every birth is a miracle, then this maternity center has had more than its share. In a country with one of the world’s worst health care systems, the center provides safe, modern care to thousands of Afghan women. https://t.co/WodbYM5MOX
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 12, 2019
EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre in Anabah is funded by the European Union