As a part of GHNI’s Transformational Community Development (TCD) wellness training, Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS) has become a critical player, particularly meeting the needs of rural villages in Afghanistan. Our GHNI Afghanistan team explains this need in the context of two of the villages where they are currently conducting TCD.
“Sandak* is a small village located in Central Afghanistan not too far from Sheldon and the majority of the population there is Hazara. As elsewhere in the country, the area has a complex past. In the 1960s and 1970s the region was home to an educated and progressive society. However, this changed with the troubles of the following decades and life is now, inevitably, hard for many of the villagers in the area.
“GHNI has therefore begun a trial BLiSS course for the women of Sandak. Our trainer, a nurse from a nearby town, has a heart to help her fellow country women. For the past 2 months she has been travelling to the area for 2 days each week to teach the women basic skills which could help save the lives of themselves and their children. Though they may not have much in terms of material possessions, they do have time and the women – neighbours, friends and family – gather on the floor of the room designated for the lessons each week to listen to what they are taught.”
The Impact of Training
“Many Afghans have experienced the loss of an unborn baby or a young child. A few months ago we sent our TCD trainer from Bendall on a Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS) course in the capital. The aim is that he (and his wife) can teach these skills to people in their village in order to help reduce problems during pregnancy and labour.
“Shortly after he returned to his village, our trainer heard that a neighbour had given birth at 8 months and sadly the baby had died. Our trainer was able to share some of what he had learnt with the grieving mother and pass on some of the materials from the course to help reduce problems next time. We hope that armed with such knowledge from the course, this young mother and others like her will experience safer pregnancies in future.”
*For purposes of security and well-being, “Sheldon,” “Sandak,” and “Bendall” are pseudonyms of the villages being helped by this project.