Leading the charge

Health professionals like Elaha are the frontline of defense.

Elaha Elham feels very lucky to have become a nurse. The first female in her family to complete her education, Elaha is now the manager of nursing and midwifery at the Faizabad hospital. She credits her father for supporting her while she went to nursing college.

“Even though the war was going on, people did not approve of girls going to school, especially going to nursing college. My father supported me and gave me hope,” she said.

Conflict remains a challenge in Afghanistan, but women face an even greater risk: pregnancy.

1 in 52 women in Afghanistan will die due to complications in pregnancy or childbirth. In Canada, that number is 1 in 6,100.

Health professionals like Elaha are the frontline of defense. But she is not alone.

Thanks to support from the governments of Canada and France, and donations from thousands of Canadians, the Faizabad hospital has provided training for almost a thousand health professionals.

Investments like these mean Elaha has the tools and skills she needs to care for thousands of patients each year, and inspire the next generation of female nurses, doctors, and health leaders in Afghanistan.