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Dengue fever outbreak confirmed in Afghanistan: WHO

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(Last Updated On: August 6, 2022)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that a new wave of dengue fever has been confirmed in Afghanistan with a total of 64 cases being reported between June 12 and July 30 in eastern Nangarhar province.

No deaths have been reported so far from the disease. Of the 64 reported cases, 47 (73.4%) were female, and all were over 5 years of age.

“Afghanistan is already battling a mix of complex humanitarian emergencies because of the ongoing conflict, recurrent natural disasters and disease outbreaks,” said Dr Luo Dapeng, WHO
Representative in Afghanistan.

“Although the reported number of dengue cases can still be managed, we need to take urgent action to prevent further spread and minimize its impact on the country’s health system and on the limited number of health workers.”

WHO said it is leading the response to the ongoing dengue outbreak by providing technical support to the activities of health authorities and partners. WHO has distributed 2000 dengue fever rapid diagnostic tests, and 7020 Gravitraps for vector surveillance and vector control activities in highly-affected districts in the province.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease with potentially severe public health impact.

Prevention is the most effective approach to reducing the risk of dengue infection, as there is no specific treatment for the disease.

Outbreaks of dengue fever have emerged sporadically in Afghanistan. The first outbreak was reported in 2019 in east Afghanistan with only 15 cases. By September 2021, the disease had resurfaced, infecting 775 people and killing one person.

Health

Pakistan sends medicines assistance to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2022)

Pakistan has handed over medicines assistance for three hospitals built by the country in Afghanistan.

The handover ceremony on Friday was attended by Afghan Public Health Minister Qalandar Ibad and his Pakistani counterpart Abdul Qadir Patel.

The first consignment is leaving for Jinnah Hospital, Kabul. Second will be dispatched to Amanullah Logari Hospital in Logar and third to Nishtar Kidney Center in Jalalabad, Pakistan’s special envoy Mohammad Sadiq said on Twitter.

“Pakistan built hospitals in Afghanistan have most modern structures & equipment. Pakistan is now also providing assistance to run them, including supporting all expenditure/salaries and provision of medicines. These hospitals have the potential to become centers of excellence,” Sadiq said.

Pakistan has allocated 500 million rupees for running of these hospitals.

They could be managed through public-private partnership or other sustainable mechanisms, Sadiq said.

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875,000 children in Afghanistan at risk of severe wasting: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2022)

As many as 875,000 children in Afghanistan are at risk of severe wasting, the United Nations agency for children said on Tuesday.

Sam Mort, chief of communication of UNICEF in Afghanistan, said on Twitter that the organization needs urgent support to prevent and treat malnourished boys and girls.

This comes after Save the Children said last month that child malnutrition cases has risen nearly 50 percent in Afghanistan as hunger hits recorded levels.

The rate of admissions in Kabul’s main children’s hospital, Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, has also increased.

“The hospital will use everything at its disposal to treat the children. Admissions at the hospital have increased due to lack of health facilities in provinces,” said Mohammad Haseeb Rahimzai, head of Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital.

In May, Save the Children reported that about 9.6 million children in Afghanistan have been unable to secure food on a daily basis due to the deepening economic crisis in the country, the impact of the Ukraine war, and continuing drought.

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Herat to get specialized hospital for patients with blood disorders

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(Last Updated On: November 28, 2022)

Health officials in Herat province say a three-story Hematology Hospital will be built in the province to treat patients with blood disorders including leukemia.

Mohammad Asif Kabir, Deputy Health Director of Herat, said the foundation stone of the hospital was laid on Monday, November 28.

“It’s been for a long time that we wanted to build a hematology hospital and now it’s being constructed with the financial support of good people who live inside and outside the country, and that foundation stone was laid today with the coordination of the authorities in Herat,” said Kabir.

According to the officials, the construction of this project has been made possible by donors including a charity organization, businessmen and investors.

“The cost of this hospital will be paid with the financial assistance of benevolent people abroad, businessmen and investors of Herat,” said Hamidullah Khadim, head of Herat Chamber of Industries and Mines.

Doctors in the province meanwhile say that the number of children suffering from thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder characterized by less hemoglobin and fewer red blood cells in the body than normal, is increasing. According to them, about 600 children in the western region of the country are suffering from the disease.

Blood cancer cases are also on the rise.

“The number of cancer cases in Herat is higher than the 8,000 that we recorded, and this is an alarm for us,” said Asif Rahmani, head of the pediatric blood cancer department at Herat’s provincial hospital.

“Thalassemia children in the western region, which are about 600 children, unfortunately, do not have access to health services,” he said.

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