Election fever reaches peak in Afghanistan

By August 19, 2009

Afghanistan (MNN) — Campaigning for Afghanistan's
presidential election is over, and voting
begins tomorrow. 

Security concerns are mounting as the government  faces two problems: an escalating insurgency,
and the potential of post-election unrest. 

Even as the nation labors under these two challenges, it is
clear that change is coming–as it has been for three decades. 

1979 ushered in the birthing throes of an emerging country
that is both history and future. Tribal
warfare mindset still exists, as does the thinking that ushered in the
Taliban. Laboring under that militant direction,  there was an equally potent struggle for
democracy…and one that cost the people dearly in blood.

Yet those times paved the way for humanitarian groups like
CURE International to work there.

After the fall of the Taliban, they got an unexpected
invitation from the government. CURE's Erin
Card says in 2005, the Afghan Health Consortium invited CURE International to
assume control of both the Family Health Clinic and a hospital partially
restored by the Coalition Forces in Kabul.

In February 2005, CURE signed an agreement with the Ministry
of Public Health to manage and further develop services and training programs
at the 100-bed hospital and the health clinic. By the end of that year, both
facilities were fully operational and together serving more than 8,000 patients
each month.

According to CURE, the Ministry of Public Health recognizes
that the training of midwives and doctors is essential to improving the health
of Afghans. 

Today, she says that "after four or five years, some
Afghans are noticing the difference–it's not just the normal way of doing
business. They're sensing that the difference truly is something supernatural.
It's a privilege to share and have these conversations." 

It's a similar opportunity presenting itself hundreds of
thousands of times. CURE has treated
more than 120,000 patients since opening in early 2005, and more than 40,000
laboratory tests were performed during this period. CURE has established for
the Afghan Ministry of Public Health the baseline competencies for staff
midwives and General Medicine doctors that will now be used in all training
programs throughout Afghanistan.

Their mission is to transform the lives of the people
they're helping through medical and spiritual healing, and their team still
needs prayer. With the events
surrounding the election, it was prudent for the hospital to step up security
to protect their staff.  

All of this means strain on their team. Card says, "There is a generalized level of anxiety.
We're just praying that God's peace and God's control will just fill their
fears and calm their minds. We wanted to pray particularly for our senior
international and Afghan leaders to make wise decisions. Pray also for our patients, that they would continue to sense love, hope and experience healing."

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