International Medical Corps provides healthcare services to the people of Nuristan province, an area in eastern Afghanistan that is characterized by mountains and river gorges, making travel to the area extremely difficult, especially in winter. Due to poor socioeconomic conditions, lack of adequate healthcare and insufficient health awareness, people in Nuristan are often in poor health, with public health authorities reporting higher morbidity and mortality rates among women and children in the province.
In Doaba, a remote village in the Kamdish district of Nuristan, 57 families live without a road. March is the peak of the melting season—when ice melts and rivers rise—and the community uses a cradle bridge to transport lifesaving supplies.
In March 2022, International Medical Corps deployed its mobile health team—which includes a doctor, a midwife and a vaccine specialist, as well as mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and protection counselors, a health educator and a hygiene promoter—to Doaba. The team arrived in the village and provided primary healthcare, psychological first-aid services, education about protection services, health and hygiene education and mental health counseling. In total, 40 patients were served by the mobile team.
“Thanks to International Medical Corps, we no longer have to go vast distances for support and healthcare services,” said Humayoun, a community representative. “When our children are ill, our malak [a village representative] meets with the mobile team leader who regularly visits our community. God bless these physicians who genuinely care about our health!”
International Medical Corps is highly significant in Nuristan. Hamayoun believes that having mobile health teams is advantageous, given the area’s demands and topography. Hygiene and mental health services, and the presence of a midwife in the mobile teams, help meet the community’s health needs, especially those of pregnant and lactating women.
“We want International Medical Corps to expand its humanitarian help to other rural places where people desperately need medical services,” said Hamayoun. “We need them to continue visiting Doaba village and reach other areas.”