Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its concern over the health system in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan. Expressing its concern, WHO, outlined that Afghanistan is on the ‘brink of collapse’. In addition, the international organization fears a humanitarian catastrophe in the country.
The remark from WHO comes after the recent high-level visit by its director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the regional director for WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean regional office (WHO-EMRO) Ahmed Al-Mandhari to Afghanistan. Over there, the officials met with senior members of the Taliban leadership.
“Our visit allowed us to witness the immediate needs of the Afghan people first-hand and meet with stakeholders to define ways to urgently scale up our health response,” it added.
Noting that the lack of donor support to the country’s largest health project Sehetmandi, the WHO chief said that thousands of health facilities have been left without funding for medical supplies and salaries for health staff. Reportedly, several of these facilities have either shut down or reduced operations.
According to reports, only 17 percent of all Sehatmandi health facilities are operational. However, the figure raised concern among the WHO officials who cited that it has a rippling effect on the availability of basic and essential health care. Nearly, nine out of the 37 COVID-19 hospitals in the country have closed and surveillance, testing, and vaccinations against the disease have dropped.
By the end of 2021, WHO aims to achieve the national target of immunizing at least 20 percent of the population. It also offered to commence a country-wide, house-to-house polio vaccination campaign and also include measles and Covid-19 vaccinations in an integrated campaign.