Supporting health facilities
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, HealthNet TPO in Afghanistan has been strengthening health facilities across Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman, Kundoz, Baghlan and Kapisa provinces, improving their capacity to cope with the steep increase in Covid-19 patients. Independent Covid-19 hospitals have been set up, alongside district centres and rapid response teams to treat patients and reduce the risk of transmission. We continue to respond at a community level, increasing public awareness and promoting healthy behaviours to prevent the spread of Covid-19, as well as conducting community surveillance and early detection of suspected cases.
Mental health and psychosocial support is a crucial component of responding the pandemic, and our psychosocial professionals have been providing mental health and psychosocial services to the people affected by Covid-19. This includes providing telephone consultation through experienced psychosocial counsellors, and stress management training to 600 health workers who work in hospitals and health facilities.
Strong health systems
Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of strong health systems, particularly for countries like Afghanistan who face ongoing conflict and violence. Both crises negatively impact people’s access to health services. The complex security situation in the eastern region makes it even more challenging for many to access health facilities, whilst responding to other health conditions, including emergency care, becomes very challenging on an already stretched health system.
Ihsanullah is one of hundreds of Afghan health workers who has dedicated himself to fighting Covid-19. He comes from Kunar province and works as a HealthNet TPO nurse at Nangarhar Regional Hospital in Jalalabad. After catching the virus himself, Ihsanullah quarantined at home for fifteen days, returning to work with more enthusiasm and dedication to his patients and supporting his colleagues during this difficult time.
In order to carry on through the difficult times, Ihsanullah highlights the importance of coping with the additional stress and emotional impact of the crisis.
“What makes this pandemic worse for everyone is the additional stress that it brings. Don’t let the stress get you down, make sure you are coping to keep healthy”.
Ihsanullah has been receiving psychosocial counselling from HealthNet TPO in Afghanistan through videocalls. He has kept in close contact with his family and friends through calls, found peace through praying and ensures he does 15-20 minutes of exercise every day.