Community Secures Storage Solution

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Good management and good medicine make for improved health outcomes for the people of Afghanistan

9 January 2012 | Paktika, Afghanistan

With this new storage facility, Sherana Provincial Hospital health providers expect to provide improved services to its patients and, over time, improved health outcomes for the people of Afghanistan.

Insecurity seriously affects the people of Paktika Province in the remote southeast of Afghanistan. Health services at Sherana Provincial Hospital, the only referral hospital in the province, are particularly critical for the patients who are referred from clinics and health posts in remote areas.

Although the USAID-supported hospital has sufficient space to deliver healthcare to the community, the building lacked a storage facility to house important items such as mattresses, bedding, stationery, oil, kerosene, heaters, and other key operational equipment. Consequently, most of these items were often misplaced and underused, impeding the work of medical staff and the delivery of health services.

With technical support from USAID, the hospital tackled the storage challenge. USAID provides critical management and leadership support to hospital staff to improve the hospital’s overall performance and the quality of its patient care. This management and leadership training empowers local hospital staff to work as a team to find innovative solutions for difficult problems.

With no funds from the hospital budget available to build a storage facility, the resident hospital advisor facilitated a series of meetings between hospital management and its community board—comprised of elders and local leaders. The board agreed to build a new storage facility for medical supplies from its remaining pool of unused non-donor funds and raised additional funds from the community to meet the shortfall, enabling the community to take further ownership of one of its most valuable resources.

Dr. Baitullah Hamid, hospital director, asserts that releasing the necessary funds for construction of the storeroom was an important step in improving hospital organization. “Before, we used corridors for storage and some other items were scattered across the hospital. Now, it is not the case. We admire the management team and community support.”

The USAID-supported leadership and management capacity building resulted in evidence-based decision-making and increased ownership.