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Infant mortality rate stood at 66 per 1,000 live births in 2015 whereas maternal mortality ratio was 396 per 100,000 live births (The World Bank, 2015). Furthermore, there are a total of 405 hospitals in the country of which 252 are private hospitals with 3 doctors per 10,000 persons (CSOA, 2015). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Afghanistan faces a high burden of communicable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis that account for more than half of all deaths in the country and remains one of the three polio-endemic countries in the world (WHO, 2014). The main health-related challenges include inadequate financing, lack of trained health personnel and limited access to facilities due to dispersion of and insecurity amongst the population (WHO, 2014).

Situation of the health sector in Afghanistan is poor as evidenced by the provincial data given above. Even in developed provinces like Kabul, there are only 33 hospitals catering to a population of 4.2 million people. The situation is much worse elsewhere; for example, there are only 2 hospitals catering to the health needs of 1.2 million people in Kandahar province.

Therefore, CHA rightly recognizes that health is a basic and foremost need of the Afghan population and has been involved in health programs for the last 27 years. CHA further recognizes that improved health and nutrition will also contribute towards reduction in poverty across the 13 provinces. CHA’s health sector has been successfully managing health projects including implementation of Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) in different provinces of the country. Strengthening, complementing and supporting National Health Policies and guidelines are the focused working areas of CHA's health sector.

The main areas of CHA's health sector interventions for improving health status are: establishment and development of health committees (Shuras); expansion of health services at grassroots level through developing local capacities (training of CHWs); maternal and child health services; preventive health that is, EPI, malaria control, tuberculosis and health education, curative health services; rehabilitation and or strengthening and running health facilities; and nutrition, mental health and health services for disabled.

Trainings and capacity development is another main area of CHA's health sector focus on improving quality health care. Conducting refresher training programs for existing health staff of CHA and other NGOs assist in improving quality of health services in different provinces. Community midwives, community health workers, laboratory technicians and nursing and vaccination training programs by CHA health sector have contributed towards addressing scarcity of skilled health staff at rural level. Preparation of technical resource materials including guidelines for health facilities and health staff has created public awareness and improved availability and accessibility of quality and standard health resources and health awareness materials in Afghanistan.