10. July 2019
Evaluation Afghanistan: make added value of well-trained health personnel more visible
A very first success in counseling already showed after the first project phase of the respective training program THTP (Transnational Health Training Programme, 2015-2018) in the provinces Balkh, Herat and Kabul: women patients felt to be treated in a more respectful way, and female staff of the four participating hospitals knew more about gender-specific violence and traumas. Nevertheless, it also became apparent that suitable working conditions allowing for self-care and regular supervision by staff are necessary for these treatments. The preceding project paid too little attention to this. Furthermore, women with a more severe impairment than others, through injury or disability, needed more intense counselling, which requires more attention during the trainings.
Psychosocial counselling, interactive methods and self-care practices are particular strengths of the specialised staff trainings
Since there were also trainings taking place that were developed by the Afghan health ministry and the World Health Organisation on the basis of a common protocol, the achieved results cannot be ascribed solely to the health personnel training program offered by Medica Afghanistan. Even though several participants emphasised that the training components on psychosocial counseling, the interactive methods and the focus on self-care practices are particular strengths, the evaluation recommends the cooperation between both programs in order to achieve even better results. It is furthermore recommended that Medica Afghanistan extends the very limited reach of the THTP through a second phase and addresses private counseling or judiciary institutions that work with women affected by violence, in addition to addressing state run health structures.
Evaluation sees potential in stress and trauma sensitive approach (STA) and in awareness raising by Medica Afghanistan
Above all, the continuous training of specialised staff to become STA trainers themselves, and the creative awareness raising by Medica Afghanistan, a particular strength of the organisation, create the possibility for this endeavour. For this and other reasons, Medica Afghanistan should advocate more insistently for their approach to be integrated in national guidelines for the fight against sexualised violence, to work towards improved support in a structured and sustainable way.
Author: Eva Maria Helm, writer by order of medica mondiale