Anabah Maternity Centre
Around 600 babies are born each month at our Maternity Centre.
In June 2003, EMERGENCY opened a Maternity Centre in Anabah, Afghanistan, to provide antenatal, gynaecological, obstetric, and neonatal care to the population of the Panjshir Valley and surrounding provinces. In 2015, the Maternity Centre underwent an expansion, with a new state-of-the-art wing improving its facilities and increasing the number of beds available.
Our Mission and Work
Panjshir was the first place in Afghanistan where an EMERGENCY facility opened, with the construction of our Surgical Centre in 1999.
Rossella Miccio, President of EMERGENCY
The Anabah Maternity Centre remains the only specialised and completely free facility of its kind in an area with a population of over 250,000 people. It is open 24/7 and works alongside our network of First Aid Posts and Primary Healthcare Centres spread throughout the Panjshir Valley and surrounding areas, to ensure as many people as possible have access to its services. In these facilities, our local medics provide crucial care to patients. When necessary, patients are stabilised and then transferred to EMERGENCY’s hospital facilities by our ambulance service, which operates 24/7. These clinics also ensure that patients and their new-born babies who travel to the Maternity Centre from outside Panjshir can receive continuity of care and follow-up examinations closer to home.
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In these years of activity, the Maternity Center has proven to be a necessary and fundamental facility for maternal and child health in the area. The more than 600,000 visits made and extraordinary number of babies born there testify to this, as do the thanks of the patients and the many women who come even from far away.
The Anabah Maternity Centre is more than just a medical facility
EMERGENCY is committed to sustainable healthcare projects and building the capacity of Afghan medical professionals. The Anabah Maternity Centre provides theoretical and practical medical education, with many trainees continuing to work at the centre after graduating. The Maternity Centre is recognised by the Afghan Ministry of Health as a national training centre for specialisation in paediatrics and gynaecology, and we are continually training both male and female doctors in these specialisations.
“There have been many wars in Afghanistan and women have suffered a lot. Now, they want to learn new things, they want to be educated and become professionals. I think that the merits of EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre go beyond the surgical and medical treatment provided to an area inhabited by more than 1 million people. For women in our region, the Maternity Centre has become a symbol and place of emancipation. Here they now have the chance to work, to receive a high standard of training, and to have a role and a status within their communities that goes beyond being a wife or a mother.”
– Member of the midwifery team in Anabah, Afghanistan
The New Facility
By 2015, the original Anabah Maternity Centre had become too small to meet the increasing demand for maternal healthcare from both local women and patients who visit us from outside the province. In September 2015, we therefore made the decision to enlarge the Maternity Centre by building a new block with four delivery rooms; operating theatres; a neonatal intensive care ward and step-down unit; an intensive care unit for women suffering birth complications; a clinic; a gynaecology ward; a follow-up area; and labour area. The centre also runs an antenatal programme aimed at monitoring pregnancies in order to promptly identify complications. For an overall cost of €1.5m, various professionals and technicians from both Afghanistan and abroad constructed a state-of-the-art facility capable of providing care and more extensive gynaecological and neonatal services.
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The hospital has been open and fully operational throughout the numerous phases of the conflict since 2003. The Anabah Maternity Centre treated patients during the extremely volatile summer of 2021, culminating with the collapse of the Afghan government in August of that year.
The Anabah Maternity Centre remains open and committed to continuing operations uninterrupted.
A Quiet Revolution
A Quiet Revolution is a report by EMERGENCY that explores the Anabah Maternity Centre’s impact on women’s health in Afghanistan and its role empowering women in the local community.
If every birth is a miracle, then this maternity center has had more than its share. In a country with one of the world’s worst health care systems, the center provides safe, modern care to thousands of Afghan women. https://t.co/WodbYM5MOX
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 12, 2019
EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre in Anabah is funded by the European Union
Location: Anabah, Panjshir Valley
Start of clinical activities: June 2003
Activities: Obstetrics and gynaecology, neonatology
Facilities: Accident and emergency, clinics, operating theatre, intensive care, wards, nursery, ultrasound room, delivery room, diagnostics, technical and support services shared with the Anabah Medical and Surgical Centre
Surgical operations: 17,217
Outpatient consultations: 489,126
Babies born at the Centre: 76,536
(Data correct as of December 2022)