Press Release

AHA Launches Second Phase of Project Helping Hand

As part of its continuing effort to help revitalize health care in Afghanistan, the American Hospital Association (AHA) is launching a second phase of Project Helping Hand: Improving Hospital and Health Care in Afghanistan.  Along with Global Watch Group (GWG), the AHA is encouraging member hospitals to donate used medical equipment and surplus supplies to a women and children’s hospital in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.  GWG, a non-profit organization, will collect, transfer and distribute the supplies in Afghanistan.

“There is a great need for assistance in Afghanistan, particularly among its children,” said AHA President Dick Davidson.  “We want to provide health and hope to a country where cholera, tuberculosis, meningitis and malnutrition are common among its young.  I’m proud of the response to our initial request and encourage hospitals to do what they can to help improve health care in Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan’s health care system lies in ruins.  Many hospitals and clinics in Afghanistan operate with partial electricity, no laboratory equipment, worn-out beds and little or no medical or surgical equipment.  Antibiotics and other drugs also are scarce.

Donated equipment and materials will be delivered to HOPE Hospital, a 125-bed hospital managed by CURE International.  HOPE Hospital includes a labor and delivery ward, two malnutrition wards, an intensive care unit and neonatal intensive care unit.  Patients come from all over Afghanistan, but primarily from Kabul and its surrounding areas.

“Project Helping Hand is a very important effort in improving health care for children in Afghanistan,” said Lawrence A. McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions.  “We salute the work of the AHA and its hospitals in working to help provide needed equipment and access to care for Afghanistan’s children and their families.”

AHA member hospitals will be encouraged to donate basic supplies including beds, blood pressure monitors, laboratory equipment and other important supplies, as well as items specific to women and children’s health.  GWG has volunteer experts in the United States who will travel to Afghanistan to help install the equipment and train the medical staff.

Hospitals donating used medical equipment and surplus supplies can contact GWG at (202) 521-5198 or email the group at globalwatchgroup@yahoo.com.  A list of the equipment and supplies needed is available at www.globalwatchgroup.org.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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