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Behind the scenes with… Dr. Abdul Majeed Siddiqi

Dr. Abdul Majeed Siddiqi is the Head of Mission of our projects in Afghanistan. HealthNet TPO is one of the leading organizations in the health sector in Afghanistan. Ensuring smooth running of all projects while raising money and managing 2250 staff members is a challenging job; especially within a fragile country like Afghanistan, where ongoing conflict and security issues are daily business.

Dr. Majeed started working for HealthNet TPO in July 2005, initially as a Head of Mission for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The job description is an extensive one: raising funds, finding new projects, managing more than 2250 staff members (plus 2000 volunteers), dealing with daily security issues and having the responsibility for the overall Afghan project portfolio. The project portfolio in Afghanistan is the largest of HealthNet TPO’s. We are currently implementing more than 26 projects – nearly all over the country – with a turnover around 20 million per year. This is mainly managed by the country head office in Kabul, where 84 staff members work to ensure smooth running of projects. In the provinces 2189 colleagues are working on the actual implementation of the projects, supported by another 2000 volunteers.

Dr. Majeed indicates that our presence in Afghanistan is well-known. “We take part in important forums and events of the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, donors and other stakeholders and are a member of the Technical Advisory Group[1]. In addition we are member of the Country Coordination Mechanism[2] Afghanistan and we chair the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Health Organization, which has members from nearly all national and international NGO’s working in Afghanistan. Finally we are a member and chair of the GAVI Alliance CSO Steering Committee with around 18 members from all over the world.”

The aim of the projects in Afghanistan follows the overall aim of the organization. “We enhance the ability of communities in Afghanistan to better manage their own health. We build complete health systems in cooperation with communities that are marginalized from the available health care system, by combining our international public health expertise with local skills, traditions and the context.” That context in Afghanistan is sometimes hard. Dr. Majeed explains: “The security situation still has a direct impact on the performance of our staff and the implementation of activities in the country. This hampers the progress of projects because next to a high staff turnover, there is poor access and limited supervision of health services in the remote and insecure areas.”

Despite the ongoing violence and other challenges the health system faces the health of the Afghan population is improving. “The health status is showing remarkable and impressive improvements, mainly due to rapid expansion of services all over the country, and the ability of NGOs to reach most of the population though comprehensive primary health care services.” This is supported by the facts: maternal mortality has reduced from 1600 per 100,000 live births in 2002, to 327 per 100,000 live births in 2010. Also infant mortality under the age of one has decreased from 187 per live birth in 2002 to 77 per live birth in 2010. The mortality under the age of five has decreased from 265 in 2002 to 97 in 2010 per live birth. HealthNet TPO is proud to have contributed to these promising results. As Dr. Majeed emphasizes, “the community midwifery programme is one of the programmes that started as a pilot and now has helped to develop national policies and guidelines all over the country, we can be proud of that”.

When asking Dr. Majeed how people can help, he refers to both the Afghan people and other people worldwide. “At country level the public can provide support in terms of helping with the safety and housing of our staff and whenever needed supporting the health facilities in the various forums. Globally we need to ensure sustainability of projects and keep working with and through the targeted communities.”  

Like to know more?
Read more about our Afghanistan portfolio on or read more about the various thematic programmes: Health Care Support Programme, Malaria Control Programme, Mental health, Psychosocial Support and Community System Strengthening Programme, Dutch Consortium Uruzgan (DCU). Or click here to support the Afghan health system.

[1] This Technical Advisory Group is the highest technical decision making body within the Ministry of Public Health

[2] A coordination group for all projects financed by the Global Fund addressing aids, tuberculosis and malaria.




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