​The health care project

Herat health care project 1998 - 2015

Together with Afghan authorities DAC operated a primary health care project in Herat province where we:

  • Provided health care to 600.000 people in the districts Gozarah, Obeh og Pashtoon Zarghoon.
  • Trained health care workers – paramedics, vaccinators, nurses, midwifes, doctors and surgeons
  • Assisted authorities to establish statistics for diseases and patients

We worked according to guidelines from the Afghan government for re-establishing the health care system in Afghanistan dated 2005. The project was financed by DANIDA.


In 1998 DAC started to work with primary health care in the Gozarah district in the Herat province in western Afghanistan. The goal was to give the population outside Herat city access to health care professionals. We started so to say from scratch by taking over the operation of a couple of badly maintained clinics. Nearly no information existed about the population size and demographic structure or about the health problems. This project – phase 1 – continued from 1998 to 2001. DAC received so called quick-impact support from the British ministry of development.

In 2001 we expanded our activities to the districts Obei and Pashtoon Zarghoon which are adjacent to Gozarah. Approximately 300.000 inhabitants had no possibility of help in case of disease so we started to open to open two health clinics. Phase 2 ran from 2001 – 2005. After a bridging period of six month we continued with phase 3, 2006 – 2010.

Phase 3 was extended until 2015 when the project was entrusted to the local NGO BDN (Bakhtar Development Network) chosen by the Afghan health ministry to operate the complete health care sector in Herat province.

​Results for 1998-2005:

  • In Gozarah we opened a district hospital and 8 health clinics.
  • In Pashtoon Zarghoon and Obei we opened two large and three small health clinics.
  • In April 2005 we opened a dormitory with 116 beds for female students at Herat Institute of Health Sciences.
  • Gozareh district hospital delivered 225.000 consultations. Target was 222.000.
  • Gozareh district hospital had 20.000 hospitalized. The target was 17.000.
  • All the health clinics together had more than 350.000 consultations. The target was 222.000
  • 900 birth assistants and community health workers were educated. Target was 1000.
  • We provided theoretical and practical training of more than 300 doctors and nurses. The target was 285
  • At the end of 2005 50% of all children less than one year 1 år are vaccinated against measles. 40% of all children are fully vaccinated.
  • The number of births assisted by midwife or doctor on clinic or in hospital has increased 20%.


The third phase of DACs health care project in Herat uses the experiences from phase 1 and 2. In Phase 3 we work for:

  • To reach even further out with health care services. Also the Afghans who live in remote mountainous areas must have access to health care assistance and information.
  • To improve the health for the kutchies (the Afghan nomads). The ministry for kutchies in Herat informs that kutchies never before have received offer of health care as e.g. vaccinations!
  • To balance the gender distribution within the staff. The lack of female nurses and midwifes must be remedied.
  • Incorporate the gender aspect in all our activities. Women must contribute to the rebuilding of Afghanistan. It is important to support women possibility for actively improving their life.

​Results for 2006-2007:

  • Number of fully vaccinated children and grown-ups has increased from 18% to 60%
  • We have created four mobile teams who work in the remotest rural areas. They vaccinate, oversee pregnant women and teach hygiene and nutrition.
  • We have trained 168 new Community Health Workers.
  • We have trained 22 kutchi (nomads) CHWs.
  • We have trained 27 CHW-supervisors and -teachers.
  • We have produced TV-spots about midwife and nurse educations
  • We have opened more than 15 new health clinics

Target for Phase 3, 2006-2010:​

  • 80% of the population has obtained access to basic health care.
  • 300 Health Shuras (Village Health Committees) have been trained and are active.
  • 600 Community Health Workers (female birth assistants and male paramedics) have been trained and works in the rural areas.

  • Number of home births assisted by trained birth assistants has increased with 40%
  • The number of births assisted by midwife or doctor on clinic or in hospital has increased 40%.
  • Maternal shelter has been opened at one of the larger clinics.
  • 80% of all children are fully vaccinated (2005: 40%).
  • 80% of all children below one year are vaccinated against measles (2005: 50%).
  • At least 160 female nurses and midwifes have finished their education.
  • The dormitory for female students with 116 beds is full and a waiting list had to be made.
  • Number of fertile women in consultation regarding family planning has increased with 50%.
  • All health facilities give treatment according to IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) standard.
  • All health facilities give basic obstetric help.
  • The three largest health facilities give acute obstetric and gynaecologic surgical help.
  • Number of ambulant consultation as well as number of bed patients continues to rise especially in the districts Obeh and Pashtoon Zarghoon.
  • All health facilities have made and implemented yearly plans.
  • All doctors at our health care facilities have been trained in acute obstetric treatment.
  • All DAC personnel have received education regarding equal treatment of genders.
  • Outside the health projects DAC has supplied a number of books and educational material for the Massoud public library in Herat.

Contact us!

Whether you have questions or want to support us you are always welcome to contact us by phone or via this form:

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Den Danske Afghanistan Komité

CVR: 13788588​


Ankermandsvej 7
2650 Hvidovre


Telefon: +45 28 11 00 12

E-mail: dac@afghan.dk

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