This happened after the chief UN humanitarian representative Martin Griffiths announced that $ 45 million in emergency fund to support Afghanistan’s crumbling health care system…
“It would be a disaster to break up Afghanistan’s health care system,” said Mr. Griffiths. “People across the country will be denied access to primary care such as emergency caesarean sections and trauma care.”
Repeating this message from the Afghan capital of Kabul, WHO CEO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that cuts in international funding have forced health care providers to decide “who is saved and who is allowed to die”.“.
After meeting with high-level Taliban officials, medical workers and patients, Tedros explained that due to the lack of financial support for the country’s largest health project, Sekhetmandi, thousands of medical institutions are unable to buy medical supplies and pay salaries.
Less than one in five of the country’s facilities in Sekhetmandi remain open, the WHO chief said, although he said access to all communities “is no longer difficult”.
Lack of drugs
“This disruption to the health system has a profound effect on the availability of basic and essential health care, as well as on emergency response, polio eradication and COVID-19 vaccinationTedros said amid reports of hacking into medical cold chain storage facilities.
Risk of COVID-19
The WHO chief also noted that nine of the 37 COVID-19 hospitals have already closed, and that “all aspects” of the country’s COVID-19 response have fallen, from surveillance to testing and vaccinations.
We cannot afford the collapse of the Afghan health care system.
I release $ 45 million from @UNCERF keep the work of medical institutions until the end of 2021.
– Martin Griffiths (@UNReliefChief) September 22, 2021
Amid concerns about women’s rights in the country following the appointment of an all-male Taliban interim cabinet earlier this month, Tedros insisted that women need access to education, health care and medical workforce…
“With fewer operating health facilities and fewer female health workers coming to work, female patients are hesitant to seek help,” he said. “We are committed to working with partners to invest in health education for girls and women, and continue to train women health workers.”
Through its operations in Afghanistan, WHO supports an extensive trauma program that includes training, supplies and equipment for 130 hospitals and 67 blood banks.
Infection with COVID-19 vaccine
WHO data showed that 2.2 million people had been vaccinated against the new virus before the Taliban came to power on August 15. coronavirus in Afghanistan.
“The number of vaccinations has dropped dramatically in recent weeks, while 1.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the country remain unused,” Tedros said. “Fast action is needed to use these doses in the coming weeks and work towards the goal of vaccinating at least 20 percent of the population by the end of the year.”
The senior WHO official also called for renewed action to eradicate polio in Afghanistan, one of only two countries where the disease remains endemic.
The WHO Director-General has warned that measles is also spreading, but he said that access to all communities was now possible. “While only one case of wild poliovirus has been reported this year, up from 56 in 2020, now is the best time to eradicate polio,” Tedros said. “However, the polio program will have a difficult time responding if the basic immunization infrastructure begins to collapse around it.”
This means WHO and partners can launch a polio vaccination campaign across the country, combining measles and COVID vaccinations, he explained.