Afghanistan’s health system ‘seriously under threat’: WHO

KABUL (Tolo News): The World Health Organization (WHO) once again expressed concerns over the collapse of the health system of Afghanistan, adding that if urgent steps are not taken, the system will collapse. The WHO said vital health services that save the lives of many in the community have come under severe threat. The Sehatmandi program is the backbone of Afghanistan’s health system, providing care for millions of people through 2 331 health facilities, it said. Since the Islamic Emirate gained power, major funding for the program has been withdrawn.
“Today, the population’s health is seriously under threat. All the progress in health outcomes may be lost. WHO is urgently calling for international donors to step up and find an alternative funding mechanism for this crucial primary health care initiative,” WHO said in a report. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health said it is working to attract more global aid to Afghanistan in the health sector.
“If aid that is provided in the health sector is not distributed in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health, the crisis in the health sector may escalate and people may face many problems,” said Javid Hazhir, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health. The WHO’s report comes as a number of Paktia residents are complaining over the lack of health services in the province, and they ask the United Nations to provide them with health services. “We urge the United Nations to provide medical assistance and equipment to the country’s hospitals,” said Gul Karim, a resident of Paktia.