For over a decade, the Bayat Foundation has worked to provide Afghans with the opportunity to lead safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives. The nonprofit is dedicated to improving the quality of life for communities throughout Afghanistan by improving access to resources that further social development. It is the country’s largest private nonprofit dedicated to promoting social growth through public service, and it pursues this goal with the support of several global organizations.
While some of the Bayat Foundation’s primary initiatives focus on improving literacy rates and expanding access to clean water, a large portion of its efforts revolve around increasing access to healthcare resources. Here are a few of the Bayat Foundation programs that are improving the health of communities throughout Afghanistan:
Building a New Women and Children’s Hospital in Kabul
Many Afghan communities lack access to healthcare resources that meet the unique needs of women and children. A joint effort between The Bayat Foundation, global NGO Matter, and the Afghanistan Ministry of Health seeks to solve this issue. The partnership between the public and governmental sectors will begin with the establishment of a new women’s health and cancer treatment facility in Kabul. The Bayat Maternity and Surgical Hospital will span four floors and 25,000 square feet. It will also be equipped with the tools and personnel to provide modern maternal, pediatric, and surgical care.
The state-of-the-art facility will also feature an oncology department outfitted specifically to screen for, diagnose, and treat women’s cancers. In this way, it will meet a pressing need in Afghanistan, where a growing number of women are being diagnosed with cervical cancer. The new hospital will also include an endoscopy clinic, pediatric audiology labs, and a full suite of resources for the treatment of obstetric fistula, a serious injury that occurs during childbirth and can significantly impact the quality of life for new mothers.
The Bayat Maternity and Surgical Hospital is positioned to be one of the leading public health institutions in Afghanistan. It will fill a number of gaps in the availability of specialized pediatric, obstetric, and gynecological care. As a result, it has garnered widespread support not only within Afghanistan, but throughout the global community as well.
The international support for the Bayat Foundation’s latest public health effort was evident at a recent fundraising gala held in support of the new hospital. On April 21, 2017, the Nourish So They May Flourish gala invited supporters from a number of private and public sectors to gather in support of the Bayat Foundation’s life-changing work.
Held at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Jacksonville, Florida, the gala served as both a fundraising effort and a celebration of the foundation’s achievements in the areas of public health, literacy, and general social development. The evening featured a variety of entertainment from guests, including comedian Jim Florentine and traditional Afghan ensemble The Sakhi Band. It also served as an opportunity for the Bayat Foundation to bestow awards upon some of its most dedicated supporters, including representatives from the Smith Infectious Disease Foundation and the Afghan Lamia Foundation.
The gala itself benefited from the generosity of sponsors including Goldman Sachs, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and Holland & Knight, as well as individual donors. These groups have provided funding for the Bayat Maternity and Surgical Hospital. They are instrumental to the continuation of the Bayat Foundation’s continued health, education, emergency aid, and community development efforts in Afghan communities.
Expanding Access to Hearing Care with the Starkey Hearing Foundation
Hearing loss affects more than 360 million people around the world, including some 32 million children. However, the conditions that cause hearing loss are frequently treatable. For example, among children, approximately 60 percent of hearing loss cases occur due to preventable causes.
For the past four years, the Bayat Foundation has partnered with the Starkey Hearing Foundation to lessen the impact of hearing loss in Afghan communities. Together with qualified hearing care specialists and volunteers from the Bayat Group of media and telecommunications companies, the two foundations have provided access to free hearing care services for men, women, and children in multiple Afghan provinces.
The Bayat and Starkey Hearing foundations held their most recent clinic at the Bayat Media Center in Kabul. From November 7 to 9, 2017, volunteers helped restore the hearing of over 1,000 Afghans, conducting individualized health assessments to outfit each patient with his or her own hearing aid. In addition, the free clinic provided access to ongoing after-care services, ensuring that its beneficiaries will enjoy quality hearing care for years to come.
Launching Free Eye Care Clinics
In addition to improving public access to hearing care, the Bayat Foundation is also working to ensure that as many Afghans as possible can enjoy the gift of sight. In August 2017, the foundation held its first free vision care clinic at the Bayat Humanitarian Care Center in Kabul.
Known as Afghans in Sight, the new community program provided comprehensive eye examinations – including eyeglass fittings, opthalmoscopies, and retinoscopies as needed – for a number of Afghans living with visual impairments. This single-day event was merely the first phase in what will be a long-term effort by the Bayat Foundation, which hopes to distribute a minimum of 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses to Afghans in the near future.