Nearly one in four hospitals treating Covid in Afghanistan has closed, warns the WHO.

Nearly a quarter of hospitals treating Covid-19 in Afghanistan have closed in recent weeks, and the country’s efforts to respond to the ...


Nearly a quarter of hospitals treating Covid-19 in Afghanistan have closed in recent weeks, and the country’s efforts to respond to the pandemic have waned, World Health Organization officials said on Wednesday.

The WHO issued an urgent warning on Wednesday, saying Afghanistan is on the brink of “looming humanitarian catastrophe”.

The advisory follows a recent visit to Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, where WHO leaders met with leaders of the Taliban, who now control the country. WHO officials also met with United Nations partners, health workers and patients.

“The reduction in donor support for the country’s largest health project, Sehatmandi, has left thousands of health facilities without funding for medical supplies and health worker salaries,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Managing Director of WHO, and Dr Ahmed Al -Mandhari, the organization’s regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said Wednesday in a joint statement.

About two-thirds of the country’s health facilities are part of Sehatmandi, a three-year, $ 600 million project administered by the World Bank and funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the European Union, the World Bank and d other donors.

As project funds were channeled through the Ministry of Public Health, donors withdrew their support after the Taliban took power. Today, only a sixth of all Sehatmandi facilities are fully functional, according to WHO

“Many of these facilities have now downsized or closed their doors, forcing health providers to make tough decisions about who to save and who to let die,” the statement said.

Officials also said nine of the 37 hospitals treating Covid-19 in Afghanistan have closed and coronavirus surveillance, testing and vaccination efforts have contracted.

Afghanistan, which emerged from an upsurge in viral infections in late June, is starting to see the number of cases increase again, this time involving the highly contagious Delta variant.

Prior to last month, according to the WHO, around 2.2 million people, or about 6% of the Afghan population, had been vaccinated against Covid-19. But in recent weeks, the organization said, immunization rates have slowed dramatically and some 1.8 million doses of the vaccine in the country remain unused.

The country’s acting health minister and last remnant of the pre-Taliban cabinet, Dr Wahid Majrooh, resigned on Tuesday.

Martin Griffiths, UN Under Secretary for Emergency Relief, said on Wednesday he was providing $ 45 million to help prevent the collapse of the Afghan health system.

“Medicines, medical supplies and fuel are running out in Afghanistan,” Griffiths said in a statement. “The cold chains are compromised. Essential health workers are not paid. “

In addition to the threat of a public health crisis, new figures released by the World Food Program suggest that 95 percent of Afghans do not have secure access to adequate food, a situation that could worsen in winter. , when many isolated communities are at risk of being cut off. without outside support for several months.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Nearly one in four hospitals treating Covid in Afghanistan has closed, warns the WHO.
Nearly one in four hospitals treating Covid in Afghanistan has closed, warns the WHO.
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