Human Resources for Health in Six Healthcare Arenas Under Stress: A Qualitative Study

Research on “human resources for health” (HRH) typically focuses on the public health subsector, despite the World Health Organization’s inclusive definition to the contrary. This qualitative research examines the profile of HRH in six conflict-affected contexts where the public health subsector does not dominate healthcare service provision and HRH is a less coherent and cohesive entity: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Haiti, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Somalia. [from abstract]

Assessing Post-Abortion Care in Health Facilities in Afghanistan: A Cross-Sectional Study

Complications of abortion are one of the leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide, along with hemorrhage, sepsis, and hypertensive diseases of pregnancy. In Afghanistan little data exist on the capacity of the health system to provide post-abortion care (PAC). This paper presents findings from a national emergency obstetric and neonatal care needs assessment related to PAC, with the aim of providing insight into the current situation and recommendations for improvement of PAC services. [from abstract]

Strengthening the Pharmaceutical Sector in Afghanistan: A Study Tour of the Afghan National Medicines Services Organization to Turkey

Staff from the Afghan government’s General Director of Pharmaceutical Affairs undertook a five-day study tour to engage with peers in Turkey. They they learned how to design and create relevant strategies, services and partnerships, with a focus on the private sector. Many ways forward emerged that can realistically support a financially sustainable national supply of key pharmaceuticals—many manufactured in Afghanistan. [adapted from resource]

The “Empty Void” is a Crowded Space: Health Service Provision at the Margins of Fragile and Conflict Affected States

Definitions of fragile states focus on state willingness and capacity to ensure security and provide essential
services, including health. Conventional analyses and subsequent policies that focus on state-delivered essential services miss many developments in severely disrupted healthcare arenas. The research seeks to gain insights about the large sections of the health field left to evolve spontaneously by the absent or diminished state. ]from abstract]

Engaging Frontline Health Providers in Improving the Quality of Health Care Using Facility-Based Improvement Collaboratives in Afghanistan: Case Study

Quality of care can be significantly improved by engaging teams of frontline workers to identify problems and find local solutions for those problems. Based on the results achieved in Kunduz, Balkh, and Kabul, the collaborative improvement work was expanded from 2010–2012 to seven more provinces. The results achieved on the ground also led the MoPH to establish a unit for quality and a national health care quality improvement strategy for Afghanistan. [from abstract]

Applying Organizational Learning to Health Challenges in the Developing World

In countries that have historically suffered from limited resources and entrenched medical systems – including Egypt, Afghanistan, and Tanzania – or ganizational learning approaches have enabled frontline health managers and their teams to achieve measurable improvements in critical areas such as family planning, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, children’s health, and maternal mortality. [from introduction]

Integrating Family Planning into Postpartum Care through Modern Quality Improvement: Experience from Afghanistan

This article describes the value of applying modern [Quality Improvement] methods to improve service quality and to facilitate the integration of health services in a resource-constrained setting. [from introduction]

Final Push for Polio Eradication: Addressing the Challenge of Violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria

The authors explore the different contexts of violence against polio vaccination workers and make policy proposals on how to respond to attacks on vaccination workers and to other factors that are impeding the final push for polio eradication. [adapted from author]

Association of Health Workforce Capacity and Quality of Pediatric Care in Afghanistan

This study aimed to examine the relationship between workforce capacity and quality of pediatric care in outpatient clinics in Afghanistan. [from abstract]

Antenatal and Obstetric Care in Afghanistan: A Qualitative Study among Health Care Receivers and Health Care Providers

This study investigated how pregnant women and health care providers experience the existing antenatal and obstetric health care situation in Afghanistan. [from abstract]

Innovating to Save Lives: Improving Maternal and Newborn Health in Afghanistan

This report outlines the outcomes on maternal and child health of a program focused on building a competent, skilled health workforce in Afghanistan, strengthening delivery of quality health care services, increasing demand for health services, integrating gender awareness and practices into health care services and sustaining systemwide progress. [adapted from author]

Increase in Skilled Midwives in Afghanistan Leads to More Women Surviving Childbirth

This 3 minute video discusses the improvement in maternal mortality rates due to the training and incentive programs that have increased the number of midwives to provide maternal care.

Comprehensive Framework for Human Resources for Health System Development in Fragile and Post-Conflict States

The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive, engaging, and visible framework of HRH system development. This has been further developed from the lessons distilled from Japanese experiences of supporting HRH system development in three fragile and post-conflict health systems: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cambodia. [from author]

Reducing the Burden of Maternal Mortality in Afghanistan: Merlin's Community Midwifery Education Programme in Takhar

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of an Afghanistan community midwifery program in Takhar Province, to capture key lessons learnt from the first round of training, and to draw conclusions for future initiatives. [adapted from author]

Role of Leadership in HRH Development in Challenging Public Health Settings

This article profiles three leaders from Afghanistan, South Africa, and Southern Sudan who have made a significant difference in those countries’ HR situations. By taking a comprehensive approach and working in partnership with stakeholders, these leaders demonstrate that strengthening health workforce planning, management, and training can have a positive effect on the performance of the health sector. [from author]

National Policy on Human Resources Development for Health (Afghanistan)

The goal of the human resources development policy is to ensure availability of suitably qualified appropriately skilled and motivated human resource for health at appropriate geographic level of pre-defined disciplines, for provision of essential health services of acceptable quality at affordable cost to the community. [author’s description]

Challenges and Successes in Family Planning in Afghanistan

Although misconceptions about family planning and cultural factors such as son preference presented some obstacles to progress, [two MSH] projects found that religion in Afghanistan is not a barrier to expanding family planning services. It was critical to engage clinicians and communities in culturally sensitive ways. Emphasizing the use of birth spacing to protect the health of mothers and children was especially effective. Activities to empower women

Pakistan, Afghanistan Look to Women to Improve Health Care

Women health workers have been vital in improving the health of women and children in Pakistan. Inspired by its neighbor’s experience, Afghanistan is embarking on a similar program to encourage women to work in the health sector. [author’s description]

Rapid Assessment of Community Health Worker Knowledge Compared with Knowledge of Doctors and Nurses

This study analyzed and compared the knowledge base of trained community health workers with that of doctors and nurses in Afghanistan to determine the differences in their abilities to provide healthcare and health information to patients.

Guidelines for Development of a Health Worker Certification System

The main objective of the Ministry of Health (MOH) certification program, which will be called the Health Worker Certification System (HWCS), is to achieve a standard level of quality provided by all health workers. To achieve this level of quality it is critical that the skills of each health worker by certified through a competency-based test. This system of testing will require that all training of health workers in the future be focused on combining knowledge acquisition with hands-on competency based skills, rather than just didactic training. Refresher training and recertification will also be required in order to ensure a basic level of quality.