CHITRAL: A local support organization working in the Kalash valleys expressed satisfaction with the improvement of bashalenis (maternities), claiming that this leads to a reduction in the death rate among women and newborns.
Ayun and Valleys Development Program (AVDP) held a meeting here the other day to discuss health and hygiene in the Kalash valleys. The president of the program Rahmat Elahi chaired the meeting attended by its members.
It was noted that the bashalenis in the valleys had been converted into safe places for women to spend their menstruating and pregnant days.
It was stated that in Kalash society, bashaleni played an important role in the lives of women who spent there five to seven days per month and 65 to 90 days per year, as their stay at home during the days of menstruation and motherhood was strictly taboo.
They appreciated the role of the Aga Khan Rural Support Program in launching its project whereby the seven bashalenis (maternities) in the three valleys were redeveloped and redeveloped with appropriate facilities while paying special attention to hygiene.
In a specially prepared report read on occasion on the state of the bashalenis, it was stated that the bashaleni of the villages of Krakal, Batrik, Broon and Anizh in Bumburate, Groom bashaleni of the village of Rumbur and that of the villages of Guru and Bishar in the Birir Valley were provided with furniture, crockery, delivery space and hygiene kits in addition to endowment funds to carry out activities by community members.
The report said that the previous hygienic conditions in these establishments were very poor, which would cause illnesses among the women, as they would face problems during the days of pregnancy.
He said trained birth attendants, medication and delivery kits had been provided in each bashaleni coupled with other facilities for safe delivery.
He said all of this now plays a central role in reducing the death rate among Kalasha mothers and newborns.
Rahmat Elahi said that strengthening the institution of bashaleni in Kalash society is a priority of the AVDP.
Posted in Dawn, December 6, 2021