Afghanistan faces severe acute health crisis, say aid workers

Aid workers in Afghanistan say health care in those rural and rural-based provinces is severely lacking – with the country facing a severe acute health crisis, according to a programme director. “In all the wards we’ve visited, we’ve never seen a technician or anybody with a basic awareness of one of these surgeries. Just one. For an entire year,” Dr. Babatunde Adediran, the executive director of the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, told Reuters.

He said the foreign doctors and nurses who now work in the country are severely overworked. “When you need 600 sessions [per week] of gynecology, they are now going to do 1,500 because the baby boom is coming,” said Adediran.

He said there is a need for at least a thousand more doctors in Afghanistan and for more support staff in health clinics. This goes along with long waiting lists for appointments in each province.

Adediran stressed that countries can only see 200 people in rural clinics in a day. The shortage of doctors on staff is putting all of the progress made in improving health care in Afghanistan at risk.

“That is why, in many cases, the hospital is almost empty. And even in the ones that have patients, they are dying because they can’t get an emergency op. When they are in the ICU, some of them have gone crazy because the drugs they need are not there.”

Afghanistan faces daunting challenges, including attacks on the health care system by the Taliban and Daesh, as well as insecurity.

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