During a rapid assessment in Uruzgan to map the current staffing working in the various cadres and levels of health facilities, HealthNet TPO identified a big gap in human resource. According to the assessment report, there was only one qualified pharmacy technician and two qualified laboratory technicians. Moreover, there are 24 nurses, of whom only 17 are certified. Based on the shortage of qualified staff in public health facilities, HealthNet TPO adopted the following strategy to develop an education programme to increase the number of well-educated health workers:
HealthNet TPO received approval of the MoPH for a long term training of new cadres of health workers, and through a taskforce comprising of various stakeholders, a 24-months training curriculum and LRP was developed. In the first community nursing programme, 20 male and female students were enrolled in February/March 2010 for Uruzgan. HealthNet TPO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gazanfar Institute of health Science (GIHS) and was involved in all levels of the programme, such as the student selection, monitoring and assessment of the programme and the coordination. Based on the internal assessment by GIHS and the MoPH, the new Uruzgan Community Nursing programme secured 80% score in line with the set assessment protoco
The MoPH now launched a project for the training of 300 female community health nurses throughout the country. In the first phase 150 nurses will be trained, of which HealthNet TPO will train 70 in Khost and Nangarhar.
Launching this new initiative will help to increase the utilization of health services and will contribute to an increased number of female health workers in rural areas. According to the MoPH (2007) in Afghanistan the nurse density is towards the lower end of the world range at 25.4 health worker per 100,000 people and it’s even worse in rural areas where there is only 6.6 health worker per 100,000 people. The Afghan team is working hard to improve these numbers.