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Thousands raised in fundraising drive for specialist hospital in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: August 26, 2020)

The Bayat Foundation, in partnership with Muslim Aid USA, held a successful Telethon on Saturday night to raise funds for the new Maternal and Neonatal specialist hospital being built in Kabul. 

Calling on the Afghan diaspora, a three-hour phone-in fundraising drive was broadcast on YouTube and managed to raise thousands of dollars. 

Hundreds of people came out in support of the initiative, along with well-known artists and celebrities from around the world.

By 12 noon Kabul time on Sunday just over $80,000 had been donated but this was still short of their $100,000 target. 

With these funds the Bayat Foundation will be able to continue building the state-of-the-art hospital and equip it with up-to-date technology and the equipment needed.

The hospital will be able to provide specialist treatment that is not available in the country currently and will provide the most advanced levels of Surgical, Maternal, Pediatric, and Cancer treatment available for women and children.

Speaking during the April 2018 inauguration of the project, Dr. Ehsanollah Bayat, the Co-Chairman of the Bayat Foundation said: “The new Bayat Maternity and Neonatal Hospital, when it is complete, will be the most modern, advanced and capable medical facility in Afghanistan.” 

 “We look forward to the day that the new Bayat Maternity and Neonatal Hospital is open, and we can begin providing healthcare to the people who need it most.”

This hospital initiative is part of the foundation’s commitment to improving the lives of all Afghans who have endured decades of hardship and war. Poverty levels are currently at an all-time high and with the COVID-19 pandemic, an already fragile health system is struggling.

Women and children meanwhile have borne the brunt of this and are in desperate need of assistance, especially as Afghan women suffer in silence because of the lack of proper healthcare facilities and the necessary medical resources, including equipment and medicine, and also the limited access to any form of specialist treatment. 

But the Bayat Foundation continues to work towards improving conditions for women and children in Afghanistan and is committed to breaking down the barriers preventing women from getting the help they need. 

Many Afghan women do not know they have serious medical conditions that can be easily diagnosed, treated and cured. Instead, they suffer in silence and all too often die at a young age due to a lack of knowledge and limited access to doctors – along with social stigmas. 

The new Bayat Maternity and Neonatal Hospital aims to end this and to change the lives of women. 

The hospital will have five specialist healthcare centers including a Women’s Surgical Theater (with a special focus on fistula treatment and recovery), Pediatric Audiology Clinic, Endoscopy Clinic, Eye Clinic and Women’s Cancer Clinic.

These five specialized healthcare capabilities, together with the Hospital’s Blood Bank, will be able to provide highly specific treatments that are currently unavailable at other hospitals and healthcare centers in Afghanistan. 

The Women’s Surgical Theater will however be critical in saving the lives of Afghan women as it will provide diagnosis and treatment of Obstetric Fistula, a devastating childbirth injury that occurs when women give birth without hospital facilities, or without the assistance of medically trained attendants.

Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth and there are an estimated 396 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the country, according to MSF which stated that childbirth without skilled attendance represents a major threat to the survival and wellbeing of Afghan women and their newborns. 

But in addition to specialized surgical treatments, the Hospital’s Women’s Cancer Center will provide essential screening, diagnosis and treatment capabilities which will address—and reduce—the rising levels of Cervical Cancer among Afghan women.

Since 2005, the US-based Bayat Foundation has promoted the well-being of the Afghan people. 

Founded and directed by Ehsanollah Bayat and Fatema Bayat, the Foundation has contributed to more than 300 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan; including the construction of 13 maternity hospitals that have now treated over two million mothers and babies.

Donations for the new hospital can still be made and for anyone who would still like to donate you can follow this link: https://www.launchgood.com/afgtelethon 

Or for more information contact the Foundation at info@bayatfoundation.org

To watch the full Telethon program on YouTube:

COVID-19

India’s COVID-19 caseload now over six million mark

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(Last Updated On: September 28, 2020)

India’s confirmed coronavirus tally has bypassed the six million mark with another 82,170 cases reported in the past 24 hours. 

The health ministry reported that the COVID-19 caseload was now at 6,074,703.

At least 1,039 deaths were also recorded in the same period, taking total fatalities up to 95,542.

New infections in India, the world’s second-most populous country, are currently being reported faster than anywhere else in the world and are expected to surpass the US tally, which is at 7.1 million, within the next few weeks. 

According to Johns Hopkins University data, almost one in every three new infections reported in the world and one in every five reported coronavirus deaths came from India.

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Abdullah hopes Pakistan visit will ‘open new chapter’ in relations

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(Last Updated On: September 28, 2020)

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said early Monday morning his visit to Islamabad will prove a unique opportunity for Afghanistan and Pakistan to exchange views on the intra-Afghan negotiations. 

In a post on Twitter, Abdullah said “I hope this visit will open a new chapter of mutual cooperation at all levels, especially on achieving a lasting and dignified peace in Afghanistan.”

He also confirmed he will leave for Islamabad Monday, for an official three-day visit and will be accompanied by a high-level Afghan delegation. 

Abdullah said he will meet with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Arif Alvi, the Chairman of the Senate, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Foreign Minister and other dignitaries.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said on Sunday, Abdullah will also deliver a key-note address at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad.

This will be Abdullah’s first visit to Pakistan as head of the HCNR and the first since 2008. 

“The visit will provide an opportunity for wide-ranging exchange of views on the Afghan peace process and strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations and people-to-people interaction,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry stated. 

“Pakistan attaches high importance to its fraternal ties with Afghanistan, rooted deep in shared history, faith, culture, values and traditions. 

“Pakistan fully supports all efforts for peace, stability and prosperity of the Afghan people. The visit of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will contribute to further strengthening amity, brotherhood and close cooperation between the two countries,” read the statement.

 

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Afghan peace negotiator says they hope to finalize agenda soon

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2020)

Afghan Peace Negotiator, Mawlawi Attaullah Lodin said Sunday that the Afghan team and the Taliban peace talks team have not yet reached a consensus on the agenda and framework for negotiations going forward. 

Lodin, whose video message was posted to the official Afghan negotiating team’s Twitter page said the team is fully aware of Afghanistan’s calls for an immediate ceasefire but that the talks are complicated and will need time for agreements to be reached. 

He said: “We hope to finalize the agenda and that both sides agree to it. Thereafter a ceasefire should be called.”

Lodin also raised the issue of the US-Doha agreement signed in February, which has become a point of contention between the two teams. 

The agreement led to the Afghan negotiating team meeting the Taliban team around the talks tables, which started two weeks ago. 

However, the Afghan government was not a party to the deal between the US and the Taliban, which does not recognize the Afghan government as legitimate. 

“We were not present in the deal, we have not signed the deal,” said Lodin. 

This comes after a member of the Taliban’s negotiating team, Khairullah Khairkhwa, said on Saturday that the main point of contention in the ongoing intra-Afghan talks in Doha was that the Afghanistan Republic was refusing to deal with the current talks within the framework of the US-Taliban agreement.

He also stated that the second point of contention is that Shiite members say that decisions should not be based solely on Hanafi jurisprudence. The Afghan negotiating team want Hanafi, Shiite and human rights included.

Lodin said, however, that according to the Afghan constitution, the Shiites Jaʿfari jurisprudence, or Ja’fari Fiqh, can not be ignored. 

“We don’t want to experience what is going on in Yemen and Syria as there is conflict between majorities and minorities in those countries,” he said. 

Another Afghan talks team member Nader Nadery meanwhile said late Sunday night that the two teams had met earlier and discussions had lasted several hours. The discussions focused on the contentious issues and would continue, he said.

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