Lots of of well being facilities threatened with closure in Afghanistan – WHO

An overview of the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, September 5, 2021. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Geneva, September 6 (Reuters) – Hundreds of medical facilities in Afghanistan face the threat of closure because Western donors who fund them are barred from doing business with the new Taliban government, a World Health Organization official said Monday.

Around 90% of 2,300 health facilities across the country may have to close this week, the UN health agency’s regional emergency director Rick Brennan said in an interview with Reuters.

He said that many Western donors have regulations that prevent them from dealing with the Taliban without delving into it.

“We will take a break in operation in a large part of them (health facilities). By some estimates, up to 90% will likely cease functioning later in the week and this will be linked to an increase in illness and death, ”Brennan said.

WHO tried to fill the gap by providing supplies, equipment and funding to 500 of the health centers, he said.

The agency is also liaising with Qatar for medical supplies by air, he added. Continue reading

“We hope to be able to fly up to two or three planeloads of relief supplies from the government from Qatar to Kabul in the next week,” he said.

The next shipments would include COVID tests and consumables for the treatment of chronic diseases.

Together with other aid organizations, the chaos at Kabul airport has made it difficult for the WHO to procure medical supplies, including trauma kits. Continue reading

Medical supplies will continue to be flown in via the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, and WHO is also exploring overland options via trucks from Pakistan, Brennan said.

Reporting by Emma Farge; Adaptation by Andrew Heavens

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