WHO: Health system in Afghanistan ‘on the brink of collapse’

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World Health Organization (WHO)
World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is sounding the alarm over the situation in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan’s health system is on the brink of collapse,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and regional director Ahmed al-Mandhari announced on Wednesday after a visit to Kabul. “Unless urgent action is taken, the country faces an imminent humanitarian catastrophe.”

Because aid money was stopped after the Taliban took power in August, thousands of health facilities no longer had money for materials or to pay staff, he said.

“Many of these facilities have now reduced operations or shut down, forcing health providers to make hard decisions on who to save and who to let die,” the WHO said.

Because fewer female nurses go to work, female patients also stay away from the clinics. However, the WHO continues to invest in training women in this field.

Nine of 37 Covid-19 clinics have had to close, and there is less testing for and vaccination against the coronavirus.

There are 1.8 million coronavirus vaccine doses in the country that need to be administered urgently. Polio eradication is in danger and measles cases are increasing. The WHO and partners are ready to go door-to-door throughout the country to vaccinate against polio, measles and the coronavirus.

The WHO says it has brought 170 tons of medical supplies to Afghanistan since the Taliban took power. To continue the aid, the WHO needs a good 38 million dollars for the next four months.

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