Dr Amiri's story
Supporting mothers and children in Paktika province
Lack of hospitals|Gynaecological support|A beacon of hope
Dr Homa Amiri was in her very first week in her new job when she saved a mother’s life.
Her 35-year-old patient was rushed to Sharana hospital bleeding heavily and in shock - her parents expecting the very worst. Without immediate help, their daughter looked certain to die.
Unfortunately, such stories are not unusual.
In the unpredictable and ever-changing environment of Paktika province in South-eastern Afghanistan, where there is a single hospital serving a population of more than half a million and widespread instability prevails, recruiting qualified health workers is a constant struggle.
Since 2015, International Medical Corps has been supporting Sharana Hospital to provide vital healthcare services to vulnerable populations. Given the cultural sensitivities in Afghanistan of male doctors treating female patients, recruiting a female gynaecologist in Paktika was a particularly urgent need.
Dr Amiri stepped forward in order to take on the challenge.
As the only female gynaecologist in Sharana hospital, Dr Amiri is responsible for every reproductive health case – a role that is often the difference between life and death for many mothers and children in the region.
It’s a big job, but Dr Amiri says that she is honoured to be able to support women in need. Originally from Kabul, her choice was driven by her desire to make a positive impact: “I knew this was where I needed to be – here I can help so many.”
When the young mother was brought in with heavy bleeding in her very first week – Dr Amiri immediately responded. After an emergency hysterectomy and a blood transfusion, the woman began to recover and was later reunited with her parents.
Sharana hospital now receives a large number of women for prenatal and postnatal care and the quality of services have been improved considerably through Dr Amiri’s involvement.
Jehangir Ali Khan, International Medical Corps’ Regional Coordinator for Afghanistan said: “With the arrival of Dr Amiri, the Sharana Hospital has become a trusted service delivery point not only for Paktika’s communities but also for the neighbouring provinces.
“Dr Amiri has become a beacon of hope in the region - without her, countless of women and children would have died of preventable causes.”
Dr Amiri says that she is proud of everything the team has achieved in the province.