Dr. Nafisa Abdullah is an accomplished Afghan-American woman. After earning her medical degree at Kabul University in 1968, Dr. Abdullah moved to the US, and following a series of residencies and advanced assignments, she became a recognized specialist in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. As an active EMERGENCY USA volunteer and board member, she’s made frequent trips to Afghanistan, which were the subject of her presentations in the Bay Area at the World Affairs Council and the Commonwealth Club.
At the Commonwealth Club, Dr. Abdullah unexpectedly began her speech on Afghanistan’s health care situation by introducing us to her country as she knows it: a culture rich with a long history of art. After a slideshow of cultural artifacts, Dr. Abdullah jumped right into it.
“Where are we after 13 years of war in Afghanistan? Do we have security after pouring in millions?” she asked.
At that point, I tried to remember if I have ever seen a hospital with a playground, much less one that made an effort to employ their past patients.
“Why do I volunteer with EMERGENCY USA?” Dr. Abdullah asked, well aware that there are several healthcare NGOs for a qualified doctor with humanitarian interests. “I wanted to be with an organization that helps civilian victims of war.”
Dr. Abdullah clicked through more photos of the Afghan mothers and children she had treated before explaining further: “In WWI, the loss of civilians was 15%; in WWII 60%; and now modern warfare claims 90%.”
If you’re interested in hosting a presentation by Dr. Abdullah and sharing EMERGENCY USA’s work with your local community, please contact us.
Dr. Abdullah has lectured widely on health care rights and civil rights, especially for civilians in war-torn countries. She is a tireless advocate for human rights in Afghanistan, and from what I learned from her, you’ll want to meet her too.
Willie is serving at EMERGENCY USA as part of New Sector’s
2013-14 Residency in Social Enterprise.