Wahidullah Azizi and Ali Ahmad Mashalafrooz, Integrity Watch Afghanistan
The local community in Kamari district of Kabul stopped a medic while trying to steal medicines worth of more than $7000 from the clinic near Kabul. The government provides free medicines to all public health facility that is used in the treatment of the local population. The medic who also In-Charge of the clinic tried to take away a considerable number of drugs using his car’s trunk.
Since its establishment five years ago, Kamari Basic Health Center has come short of providing services to the residence of the district mainly due to widespread corruption in the clinic and lack of accountability by the doctors. Despite raising their voice against the ongoing misconduct at the clinic services but fall on deaf ears. For instant despite having Gynecology and obstetrics section in the clinic, it has not been used for once.
The law enforcement agencies arrested the medic and locals demand legal actions against him. However, to our surprise Kabul Health Director has transferred the alleged medic to another clinic while locals demand his suspension and prosecution of the physician. Community representatives and Integrity Watch met with the Director and he said that the case has been referred to the Ministry and they wait for actions against him.
Despite spending a good chunk of money on the health sector during the past decade and a half by the international community and the Afghan government, the status of public health in the country remains in shambles. Afghans continue to go abroad looking for treatment of basic diseases while it could have been taken care of inside the country. Integrity Watch has surveyed 184 health facilities in the country where it found mismanagement and corruption resulted in compromising the quality of health services in the public healthcare centers.
After demand by the society and the success of Community-Based Monitoring programs, Integrity Watch started monitoring of public health delivery in Kabul with the aim of expanding the program into the provinces. According to the program launched last month, eight volunteers trained y Integrity Watch will monitor the service delivery in six public healthcare centers.