A mother and child competence centre in Abu Ali Sina Balkhi Regional Teaching Hospital, Mazar-e-Sharif

Project description

Title: Capacity development for setting up a competence centre for mother and child health in Abu Ali Sina Balkhi regional teaching hospital in Mazar-e Sharif
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Country: Afghanistan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)
Overall term: 2015 to 2017

Afghanistan. Health Edcuation for Patient and Relatives © GIZ


Medical care in northern Afghanistan is neither widely available nor up to standard. Rates of maternal and child mortality are much higher here than in other countries. Some 460 pregnant women in every 100,000 die in childbirth, compared with 12 in Germany; the infant mortality rate stands at 73 out of every 1,000 live births. These figures demonstrate the importance of the departments of obstetrics and gynaecology and of paediatrics in the regional hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif. At the same time, there is just a limited level of health literacy. The hospital does not provide patients or those accompanying them with regular information, nor are they sensitised to health issues. In order to provide high quality health care for women and children, it is important to improve both the physical infrastructure and the technical and medical standards of the hospital.


The quality of maternal and child health care services has improved in northern Afghanistan.


As health is crucial to Afghanistan’s development, the government is setting up a mother and child clinic – the competence centre for mother and child health in Abu Ali Sina Balkhi regional teaching hospital in Mazar-e Sharif – which will also include a modern management system. This project provides advice designed to encourage development and change processes. The project experts work together with relevant actors, including the Ministry of Public Health and the management of the hospital, providing backstopping measures and undertaking coordination.

Afghanistan. Nursing training © GIZ

The Ministry also receives advice from the project about strategies and the necessary financial inputs to enhance the quality of services, and thereby improve the health situation of women and children. The project is setting up an information system to keep patients and the people accompanying them informed about different health issues. These contributions to the health sector will serve to boost public confidence in the efficiency and legitimacy of the state.

To develop and strengthen capacities for clinical medicine, nursing, support staff and service provision, the project runs coaching programmes and on-the-job training. These are integrated in the daily routine of the new competence centre. The training and knowledge transfer measures are underpinned by international and regional partnerships, for example, with the Hospital of Minden and the University of Freiburg, in Germany, and with the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, in Iran.