Afghanistan has both public and private hospitals. However, most people have to travel far to access a hospital and the conditions are terrible. Often the patients lie on the floor because there are not enough beds available. The space is so limited that they lie in a row in the hallways. This is a major concern for hospital hygiene and may lead to unnecessary hospital acquired infections and an overuse of antibiotics. 

Another issue is the lack of the needed hospital equipment in Afghanistan. Some people travel to other countries such as Pakistan, Iran or India to get the necessary treatment. This is however only a possibility for the wealthy few and so many people in Afghanistan are not receiving the required treatment.

Hospital beds

There is a great shortage of all hospital equipment in Afghanistan. We at DAHF have had the opportunity to help by donating used hospital beds. As a result less patients are lying on the floors.

So far, we have sent 150 hospital beds to Afghanistan, but there is still a great need for more help. We have also sent surgical tools such as tweezers, scissors, needle holders and alcohol.

DAHF’s first aid project started as an idea back in 2019 among two of our board members, both of whom work in healthcare. In close collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council, the idea became a reality and in June 2021, four DAHF members traveled to Afghanistan. Here, 30 teachers from 15 different schools in Herat were to be taught basic first aid and how they themselves will be able to teach their own students in the future.

 The courses lasted two days per class, where they were taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation, management of airway obstruction, bleeding and shock, sprains/fractures of bones, burns and several medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke and epilepsy. Participants were evaluated several times and at least half of the course consisted of practical exercises. The participants were also given a first aid manual developed by several DAHF members with experience in the field, either as doctors, medical students or first aid instructors.

The implementation of the teaching as a fixed part of the curriculum has been approved by the Herat Department of Education.

The plan is that the first aid trained teachers in the future will teach students in the 12th grade (corresponding to the 3rd year of a Danish high school) in basic first aid one day a year, so that both knowledge and the practical skills around first aid are spread in the population.

At the end of November 2021, we distributed all first aid equipment, including first aid dolls, bandages, first aid boxes, etc. to the schools involved, and the next step will be the start of first aid courses in the schools.

We from DAHF are very grateful that the first aid project was such a success. Hopefully knowledge about first aid will be benefital to many afghans in the future

First aid

Very few Afghans are familiar with first aid and most people do not know how to react if they see a person collapse or if someone is choking. The lack of first aid knowledge can in the worst case lead to death. It therefore makes very good sense to set up first aid courses and implement this as a regular part of teaching in the schools of Afghanistan.