Health Care in Afghanistan Is Crumbling, Aid Groups Warn

Health Care in Afghanistan Is Crumbling, Aid Groups Warn

“It’s terrible timing that this would happen at a time when humanitarian needs are escalating,” said Dr. Richard Brennan, regional emergency director for the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean region.

Cesarean sections, polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, and measles immunizations, tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment, malaria, HIV, childhood nutrition, surgeries, and routine health services, including family planning, are all under threat. Aid cuts are also putting a strain on hospital supply chains for medicines, oxygen, and food.

Sehatmandi, a three-year, $600 million World Bank project funded by the US Agency for International Development, the European Union, the World Bank, and others, encompasses roughly two-thirds of the country’s health facilities.

Donors withdrew their support after the Taliban deposed the previous administration, citing the fact that funds were routed through the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health.

Dr. Majrooh, who studied global health policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, acknowledged the precarious position of donor organizations but argued that population health should take precedence over political considerations.

Dr. Majrooh and humanitarian aid experts accused funding organizations of abandoning Afghans at a critical point in their lives.

“I am astounded that they have decided to withdraw at a time when they are most needed and have the greatest impact ever,” Karl Blanchet, a humanitarian studies expert at the University of Geneva who has worked closely with the Afghan health ministry, said.

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Health Care in Afghanistan Is Crumbling, Aid Groups Warn