Health facilities in Afghanistan Photograph:( Reuters )
Due to the lack of funds, several medical staff around the country have not been paid for the past few months, health facilities are struggling to procure basic items needed for treatment of patients and lack of hygiene in the sterile area
As Taliban took over Afghanistan, locals complained about deteriorating human rights and crashing economy. Now, the health system seems to be on a decline too.
Western medical experts have warned the world that Afghanistan’s health system is on the brink of collapse and the situation only seems to be getting worse.
Experts have claimed that since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, western sanctions against the terrorist organisation have continued, leading the civilians into a state of helplessness and poverty. These sanctions have led to decreasing monetary funds.
Due to the lack of funds, several medical staff around the country have not been paid for the past few months, health facilities are struggling to procure basic items needed for treatment of patients and lack of hygiene in the sterile area.
“None of the staff have received salaries for months, though most are still coming in. There is hardly any medicine and they are cutting tress in the courtyard to heat the rooms because there is no gas. They’ve also sent their ventilators to the Afghan Japan hospital to treat Covid cases but that is also struggling,” said Dr Paul Spiegel, director of the Center for Humanitarian health at Johns Hopkins University. He recently went on a five-week trip to Afghanistan and observed that basic necessities of hospitals such as hygiene products, food, colostomy bags and more were missing from the facilities due to lack of funding.
“It’s really bad and it is going to get a lot worse,” Spiegel, a former chief of public health at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees among other high-profile humanitarian assignments, told the Guardian. “There are six simultaneous disease outbreaks: cholera, a massive measles outbreak, polio, malaria and dengue fever, and that is in addition to the coronavirus pandemic.”
While the whole world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Afghanistan’s COVID-19 response measures have come to a complete halt.
He also added that the situation seems to be worse in areas outside Kabul. “There is a provincial hospital in Sarobi outside Kabul I visited. There was insufficient water and soap for hygiene protocols,” he said. “There was a small child who had been born at the hospital with an anal fistula. She was so sick that they had put a colostomy in but they had no bags and so they were using whatever material find – like toilet paper – to collect from the colostomy.”