The World Health Organisation (WHO) has rolled out emergency aid and has called for support and solidarity in Afghanistan. They have done this while stressing the need to provide emergency aid to the recent victims of conflict and displacement in Afghanistan as a result of the recent takeover by the Taliban. This is coming just after the International Rescue Committee and UN humanitarian staff says that they are committed to staying in the country to assist displaced and vulnerable populations.
In a statement released by the Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the WHO confirmed that it is staying in Afghanistan and providing emergency aid to the tens of thousands of recent victims of conflict and displacement in the country. The organisation noted that sustained access to humanitarian assistance, including essential health services and medical supplies, is a critical lifeline for millions of Afghans, and must not be interrupted.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) is committed to staying in Afghanistan and delivering critical health services and calls on all parties to respect and protect civilians, health workers, patients and health facilities. During this difficult time, the well-being of all civilians, as well as the safety and security of our staff in Afghanistan, is paramount…The people of Afghanistan need support and solidarity today more than ever. The gains of the past 20 years cannot be turned back,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari.
Al-Mandhari stressed in his statement the need to ensure constant access to essential health services and medical supplies in Afghanistan at this critical moment for trauma injuries, cases of diarrhoea, training in mass casualty management, as well as mental health support.
“Months of violence have taken a heavy toll on Afghanistan’s fragile health system, which had already been facing shortages in essential supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the recent conflict, trauma injuries have increased, requiring scaled up emergency medical and surgical services. In July 2021, some 13 897 conflict-related trauma cases were received at 70 WHO-supported health facilities, compared to 4057 cases in July 2020,” he said.
Al-Mandhari also pointed out an immediate need to ensure continuity of health services across the country, with a focus on ensuring that women have access to female health workers, stressing that field reports indicate that there are increasing cases of diarrhoea, malnutrition, high blood pressure, COVID-19-like symptoms and reproductive health complications in areas where people have fled to seek safety and shelter, including Kabul and other large cities.
The recent conflict in Afghanistan as a result of the takeover by the Taliban has led to mass casualties, hunger, health complications, displacement as well as left many thousands of citizens stranded and unable to reach the airport for evacuation flights, as the Taliban erected checkpoints at the entrances to the airport, whipping and beating Afghans who attempted to cross, as hundreds of families strive to flee the country.
With the Taliban in control of the Afghan capital, many countries including the US, India, are taking swift actions to evacuate their citizens from Afghanistan as the Taliban militants, on Sunday, took over Afghanistan’s capital, after being driven from Kabul by US troops for about 20 years now, causing Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani to flee the country, leaving the presidential palace to the Taliban fighters.
(Photo: AFGHAN HEALTH WORKERS)
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