Afghanistan - ICRC Activities by region in the Second Quarter of 2001 - Kabul
Table of contents
Economic Security & Health Programme
The ICRC focused its efforts on other projects to help vulnerable populations to develop their own economic security to enable themselves to be more self-reliant, therefore, less dependent on external aid.
Water Sanitation and Habitat Programme
Water Sanitation and Habitat Programme is to improve and clean the community environment with the aim of reducing incidence of oral - faecal diseases. Focusing on the public and densely populated areas, such as hospitals, detention centres, and cities, it has been carried out through rehabilitation of traditional latrines and sewage system, constructing tube wells equipped with hand pumps, and other means.
The latrines construction activities consists of supporting the households and public facilities in construction of ventilated dry latrines. The main improvement is the faeces remain in a closed chamber and don't flow over into the street as it is often the case with the traditional latrines. The health education is carried out in collaboration with the local authorities to inform the community of health risks and to promote hygienic practice.
In the second quarter of 2001, this department constructed/rehabilitated 4 wells in Kabul city and improved a total of 1,578 latrines in district 1 and 9 of Kabul city benefiting more than 17,000 persons. Additionally, 142 latrines were rehabilitated in Mazar-e-Sharif for 1,562 people. Totally, 5,152 health sessions were held for different target groups in schools and residential areas.
Chelstoon, Beni Hisar and Qul-e-Abchakan water supply networks were rehabilitated and extended, benefiting totally 35,050 persons. Meanwhile a hand pump was installed in Khaiar Khana Mena. Septic Tank of Thai Maskan was improved, and now serves for 2,000 persons.
Kitchen Garden Project
The kitchen garden project, as an income-generating project, was established in 1998 with the aim of assisting beneficiaries to take advantages of their land at hand by cultivating vegetable for their daily consumption. The project has been carried out through distribution of seeds and agricultural tools, and provision of technical support. The project is small and the output for each beneficiary is limited. Nevertheless, the project has a very positive impacts. According to the round random monitoring carried out recently, it was found that 80% of gardens are successfully bearing the positive results. However, the continuing drought remains as a concern for the rest of gardens.
The ICRC agricultural department continued rehabilitating traditional irrigation systems (karez) through the Food for Work (FOW) projects, and distributing large scale seeds/seedlings and agro tools in Dehsabz and Bagrami , districts of Kabul province. The aim is to assist communities to rehabilitate their agricultural activities paralyzed by conflicts and droughts.
During the second three months of 2001, the ICRC distributed vegetable seeds along with a set of agricultural tools to 700 farmers in Bagrami district. Additionally, 15,000 kg potatoes have been distributed to 150 farmers, and 2,100 kg corn seeds and 1,500 kg mungbeen seeds have been distributed to 300 farmers.
In Dehsabz district, two Irrigation System Rehabilitation (ISR) has been carried out, and salaries were paid for 70 beneficiaries in a form of food. The ICRC distributed vegetable seeds and a set of agricultural tools to 1,000 farmers. Additional distributions were made to 150 farmers benefited with 15,000 kg potatoes, and to 200 farmers with 1,400 kg corn seeds and 1,000 kg mungbeen seeds.
The ICRC opened its first orthopedic centre in 1988 in Kabul, initially for landmine victims or war-wounded. Currently, the centres are operational in 5 other locations within the country. Its service has been extended for different categories of disabled. The centres produces prostheses, orthoses, crutches, and wheelchairs, and provide counseling and rehabilitation training to the patients.
Kabul orthopedic centre organises transport, accommodation and treatment of disabled living in remote areas. Furthermore, in order to integrate disabled into the society, the " Social Economical Rehabilitation of Disabled " project has been launched, where the patients receive supports in different forms, such as vocational training, job-referral and small-scale loans. In the second quarter of 2001, 162 disabled have received loans to run small commercial activities, such as; shoe repairing, watch repairing, tailoring, and others. In addition to that, the ICRC facilitates transportation of school-aged patients to continue their education.
Kabul orthopedic centre provided the following activities in the second quarter of 2001:
New patients registered: 1'032
Prosthese made: 430
Orthoses made: 1'139
Crutches made (pair) 1'104
Wheelchairs made 145
Home Care Team for Spinal Cord Injured Patients
The Home Care Team (HCT) is a service to provide care for patients suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries. This project is currently implemented in Kabul where there is a high concentration of patients within a relatively small area. This program is helping paralyzed persons to find ways to have as normal life as possible within their communities. The programme components include provision of medical, rehabilitative, economical, psychological and social supports for the patients.
Currently, there are 342 patients registered with the HCT. This number continues to raise on a daily basis. Each patient has a full physiotherapy assessment at the ICRC Orthocentre in Kabul when they are first seen. In ordinary case, they are then referred to the HCT for home visit and reviewed every three months. The ICRC provides food rations for three months at a time to the patients'families.
In Kabul the ICRC provides regular support to two surgical hospitals: Kart-e-Seh hospital with 236 beds and Wazir Akbar Khan with 242 beds. Both hospitals treat war-wounded and land mine victims including surgical emergencies, trauma and paraplegics hygienic equipment.
The support includes provision of medication, medical and surgical equipment, basic rehabilitation, water and sanitation, training of professional staff, allowance and running costs. Both hospitals have full functioning blood banks. ICRC also supports on a regular basis surgical material and drugs to Military Hospital 400 bed male and 100 be d female. Ad Hoc supplies to other Kabul surgical hospitals like; Malalai Maternity, New Aliabad, Indira Ghandhi children hospital, with blood bank, Noor Eye hospital with equipment. ICRC also supports Ghazni hospital surgical wards.
The ICRC also supports first aid posts on both sides of the front lines with first aid material and basic drugs and visits the detainees in the traditional framework of prison activities by its health staff.
In the second quarter of 2001, a total of 4'502 patients admitted to Kart-e-Seh and Wazi Akbar Khan hospitals ( 3 % out them war-wounded, 26 % women, 11 % children). Totally 3'450 operations were performed and 15'945 patients were examined in Out Patient Department (OPD) of the mentioned hospitals. Meanwhile the ICRC supported a 10 day planning workshop conducted by ministry of public health for 300 health authorities from all over Afghanistan.
Visits to people detained because of internal violence, conflicts and wars are among the most traditional activities of the ICRC. The delegates follow standard procedures implemented worldwide, which include the registration of prisoners and private talks between delegates and prisoners. All information collected is treated in a strictly confidential manner. After a visit, ICRC delegates share their findings in a constructive way with the detaining authorities when deemed necessary, with recommendations on how to improve the treatment and the living conditions of detained people.
The very aim of ICRC's approach to assistance remained to help the authorities to tackle the most dangerous diseases, like respiratory diseases (pneumonia) in the winter and the outbreak of water born diseases (diarrhea) during the warm season.
Tracing and the Red Cross Message
The ICRC has developed the Red Cross Messages (RCM) Network in close collaboration with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS). This postal system has its base in times of conflict where an ordinary postal service is not available. The RCM serves to maintain/reistablish the family link for those who are seeking contact and those who are in search of news and whereabouts of missing family members.
Inside Afghanistan, the RCMs are collected in places of detention by ICRC delegates. For civilians, RCMs are collected and distributed by local branches of the ARCS. Outside Afghanistan, the RCMs are distributed either by the ICRC or through the respective National Red Crescent or Red Cross Society.
Red Cross Messages Service in the second quarter of 2001:
Collected from detainees: 2,934
Distributed to detainees: 1,055
Collected from civilians: 619
Distributed to civilians: 520
Collected through ARCS from civilians: 2,283
Distributed through ARCS to civilians: 1,983
Returned to detainees: 170
Returned to civilians: 163
The ICRC Cooperation programme aims to strengthen the capacities of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), including its nationwide branch network, to assist the most vulnerable populations affected directly and indirectly by conflict. The ICRC supports a network of Tracing and Dissemination field officers in all 31 branches of the National Society. In cooperation with the Red Cross Society of the Netherlands and the ARCS, 5 Marastoons (literally'place of aid') which was set up throughout the country are fully supported by the ICRC in their food and nonfood requirements. The ARCS offers a shelter to the most vulnerable amongst the Afghan population. Widows and their children, orphans, physically handicapped and mentally ill find a place in one of the five Marastoons of the ARCS. The Marastoon also offers education and vocational training programmes for the children and the widows in order to enable their eventual return to the society. In February of this year the Kabul Marastoon inaugurated a new residence which could offer shelter for an additional 40 families. The building was constructed with the funds made available by the South Korean Red Cross.
The ICRC has signed 8 bilateral and 2 Tri-partied agreements with the ARCS, for 2001, to run their various programs in the country.
In Afghanistan, the ICRC carries out an ongoing dialogue and various dissemination activities with a wide range of public intended to promote awareness of our mandate, principles, International Humanitarian Laws (IHL), and our activities. The target groups include: governing bodies and local authorities, co mmanders and arms carriers, academics and students, the beneficiaries of the ICRC actions, national and regional media and local ICRC and ARCS personnel. Methods of dissemination vary from direct dialogue to seminars and workshops, carrying out research and managing campaigns, publication and distribution of various texts and promotional materials.
Radios are also a powerful means of communication where alternative means are not available and where populations can not be reached readily for various reasons. Therefore, to promote awareness and understanding on the IHL and the ICRC, a Radio programme was started in collaboration with ARCS in Mazar-e-Sharif. This programme, called "In the Fold of Humanity", is now broadcasting by Kabul Radio Voice of Shariat as well.
Communication department also provides factual information on ICRC's various activities in Afghanistan through its publications; Factsheets and Briefing Notes on regional and national level are available in English, Pashto and Dari. Production of a national newsletter is in process and it is hoped to be ready by middle of August, 2001.
A number of international news agencies representatives, as well as local media correspondents have been hosted to visit ICRC activities on the field and receive distinct information. In the second quarter of 2001, totally 12 international news agencies reporters and photographers and 2 local media representatives paid visit to the Communication department, received general briefings on ICRC activities in Afghanistan and visited relevant activities on the filed.
Mine Data Collection Programme
Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mine-UXO (unexploded ordnance) affected countries in the world, hindering its economic development and posing a serious threat to the livelihood of its inhabitants.
The Mine Data Collection unit was opened In 1998 in order to find dangerous areas, assess the victim behavior leading to their accident, the injuries suffered and the medical treatment received through visiting the mine victims in different hospitals and clinics.
Today, data is collected from 46 clinics supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as the hospitals and clinics of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), Aide Médicale Internationale (AMI), Ibn Sina, HealthNet and Norwegian Assistance Committee - all together over 230 health structures - to achieve a better coverage of the countryside.
Presently 1 expatriate and 8 Afghan national staff are working for the Mine Data Collection Program (MDCP) in Kabul and one field officer in each of the ICRC sub-delegations and offices. The range of activities covers interviewing mine- and UXO victims in hospitals and clinics, giving training courses in data collection to medical staff and provincial supervisors of partner organisations, and using the MDCP database to produce analysis', statistics and reports.
In the second quarter of 2001, totally 365 mine victims were interviewed in the hospitals and clinics, that includes 146 men, 4 women, 141 boys under 18, 15 girls under 18 and 59 combatants.