Afghanistan to run out of medical supplies soon, says WHO

By Jasleen Kaur - August 28, 2021 6:08 pm

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said war-ravaged Afghanistan has only a few days of medical supplies left to meet the health needs of millions of people in the country.

The WHO said health kits containing essential supplies, medicine for hospitals, nutritional food for acutely malnourished children and items for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic were short in supply. Following the Kabul blasts on Thursday, trauma kits are also in high demand.

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WHO's emergency director for the Eastern Mediterranean region Rick Brennan said the closure of the Kabul airport for commercial aircraft had led it to explore other means to transport medical supplies.

"There are multiple security and logistics constraints to doing so, but we hope and expect that we will be able to bring in more supplies in the coming days, with the support of the Pakistan government. The Kabul airport is not an option for bringing in supplies at this stage and so we are likely to use the Mazar-i-Sharif airport, with our first flight hopefully going in the next few days," say reports.

Afghanistan is facing its worst-ever crisis in decades after the Taliban took control of the country. As the situation is deteriorating rapidly, humanitarian needs have surged in the country. The UN has said nearly 18 million people require global support and they include an estimated 3.5 million internally displaced people, among them more than half a million newly displaced this year.

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However, Brennan has vowed that the WHO is committed to assisting the displaced and vulnerable people in Afghanistan. "Already we are hearing that some female health workers are not attending work and that there has been a decline in the attendance of women and children at some facilities. This again highlights the need to ensure the availability of medical supplies, to support female health workers in their work, and to encourage families to bring their mothers and children to seek health care when they need it," he said.

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He said the WHO had staff in Afghanistan's all 34 provinces and they were monitoring the health situation closely. He also stressed that most of the 2,200 health centres that WHO monitors are open.

-PTC News with inputs from ANI