Connect with us

Health

Afghanistan’s health system is on brink of collapse: urgent action needed

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: January 26, 2022)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has once again appealed to the international community to find a funding mechanism to help prevent Afghanistan’s primary health care initiative from collapsing.

The WHO stated this week international donors need to find a funding mechanism for the Sehatmandi program, which is Afghanistan’s crucial primary health care initiative.

The Sehatmandi program is the backbone of Afghanistan’s health system, providing care for millions of people through 2,331 health facilities across the country.

However, since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) took control, major funding for the program has been withdrawn.

Previously funded by the World Bank, the European Commission, and USAID, there are now serious challenges to continuing these vital primary health care services.

Over the last two decades, life expectancy has risen, and maternal, newborn and child deaths in Afghanistan have dramatically decreased, largely due to the success of the Sehatmandi program.

Today, the population’s health is seriously under threat and all the progress in health outcomes may be lost, the organization warned.

“The recent funding pause by key donors to the country’s biggest health programme (Sehatmandi) will cause the majority of the public health facilities to close. As a result, more mothers, infants and children will die of reduced access to essential health care.

“WHO is determined to work with partners in identifying a sustainable solution with the support of donors to maintain and scale up the lifesaving interventions when needed in the country,” said Dr Luo Dapeng, WHO Representative in Afghanistan this week.

Health

400 confirmed cases of cholera in Zabul: Health officials

Published

on

(Last Updated On: May 24, 2022)

As many as 400 cholera cases have been confirmed in recent months in Afghanistan’s southern Zabul province, health officials said on Tuesday.

Javed Hazhir, a spokesman for Public Health Ministry, said that cases have been reported in other provinces but that more cases of cholera are reported in warmer provinces in the country.

“Kabul, Nangarhar, Herat, Helmand and Kandahar are among provinces with the most number of cases,” Hazhir said.

He advised citizens to wash their hand before having a meal and after every trip to the toilet.

The lack of access to health facilities, poverty and unemployment are said to be the major causes of the increase in the number of cholera cases.

“I request the Public Health Ministry to pay attention to the outbreak in order to prevent deaths,” said Rahmatullah, a resident of Zabul.

Subhanullah, another Zabul resident, said that people are poor and they can’t afford to buy medicines.

The cholera surge comes as Afghanistan is already grappling with the challenges of drought, poverty and an economic crisis.

Afghanistan is in the grips of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world and international organizations have warned of the collapsing healthcare system.

The country is also facing multiple outbreaks of disease, including COVID-19, measles, and diarrhea, as well as acute malnutrition.

Continue Reading

Health

WHO says no urgent need for mass monkeypox vaccinations

Published

on

(Last Updated On: May 24, 2022)

The World Health Organization does not believe the monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa requires mass vaccinations as measures like good hygiene and safe sexual behaviour will help control its spread, a senior official said on Monday.

Richard Pebody, who leads the high-threat pathogen team at WHO Europe, also told Reuters in an interview that immediate supplies of vaccines and antivirals are relatively limited.

His comments came as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was in the process of releasing some Jynneos vaccine doses for use in monkeypox cases.

Germany’s government said on Monday that it was assessing options for vaccinations, while Britain has offered them to some healthcare workers.

Public health authorities in Europe and North America are investigating more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases of the viral infection in the worst outbreak of the virus outside of Africa, where it is endemic.

The primary measures to control the outbreak are contact tracing and isolation, Pebody said, noting that it is not a virus that spreads very easily, nor has it so far caused serious disease. The vaccines used to combat monkeypox can have some significant side-effects, he added.

It is unclear what is driving the outbreak, with scientists trying to understand the origin of the cases and whether anything about the virus has changed. There is no evidence the virus has mutated, a senior executive at the U.N. agency said separately on Monday.

Many – but not all – of the people who have been diagnosed in the current monkeypox outbreak have been men who have sex with men. But that may be because this demographic is likely to seek medical advice or access sexual health screening more readily, the WHO said earlier in the day.

Most of the confirmed cases have not been linked to travel to Africa, which suggests there may be large amounts of undetected cases, said Pebody. Some health authorities suspect there is some degree of community spread.

“So we’re only seeing … the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

Given the pace of the outbreak, and lack of clarity around what is driving it, there has been worry that large events and parties this summer could make things much worse.

“I’m not saying to people don’t have a good time, don’t go to attend these events,” Pebody said.

“It’s rather around what people do at the parties that matters. So it’s about safe sexual behaviour, good hygiene, regular hand washing – all these sorts of things will help to limit the transmission of this virus.”

Continue Reading

Health

13 million children in need of humanitarian aid, over 5 million close to famine

Published

on

(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

Save the Children said Monday, in its latest report on Afghanistan, that 24.4 million people, including 13 million children, need humanitarian assistance and that over five million children are close to famine.

In its April report, the organization said 19.7 million people, including 9.6 million children, are facing critical levels of hunger; “5.3 million children are one step away from famine” and 1.1 million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished.

According to the report, 5.8 million internally displaced people and returnees remain in some form of displacement and close to 700,0000 people were internally displaced in 2021.

In addition to this, Save the Children said eight million children need support to access education in Afghanistan and 10 million children are at risk of dropping out of school if teacher salaries are not paid and crippling poverty levels continue.

The report also noted that 4.5 million children are in need of mental health and psychosocial support.

The organization stated that armed clashes continue in Baghlan, Takhar and Panjshir provinces, where Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) “authorities are being attacked”.

“Increased number of explosions in Kabul city killed and injured a number of civilians, including children. In addition, airstrikes by Pakistani Air Forces killed 41 civilians including six children in Khost and Kunar provinces” last month, the report stated.

Save the Children said the economic crisis continues to impact the finances of families and in a survey carried out by the organization, it was found the majority of the families reported loss of some or all of their income and are unable to afford the rising cost of food.

“93% of people in Afghanistan face insufficient food consumption due to the economic decline. 4.5million children and breastfeeding women are at risk of acute malnutrition in 2022,” the report stated.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) meanwhile confirmed nearly 55,400 measles cases and more than 290 related deaths since the beginning of 2021, including more than 3,300 new cases and 21 related deaths confirmed between March 20 and 26-2022.

Of the total cases, approximately 80 percent have been children ages five years and younger, Save the Children organization said.

In conclusion, the report noted that the ban on secondary school girls attending classes, and the non-payment of teacher salaries has led to growing rates of teacher, and subsequently student, absenteeism and drop-out.

“Shortages of qualified female teachers serve as a barrier to girls’ access to education,” the report stated.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Ariana News. All rights reserved!