Nearly 1 in 4 hospitals treating Covid in Afghanistan have shut down, the W.H.O. warns.

Practically one-quarter of the hospitals treating Covid-19 in Afghanistan have closed in latest weeks, and the nation’s efforts to reply to the pandemic have declined, World Well being Group officers stated Wednesday.

The W.H.O. issued an pressing warning on Wednesday, saying that Afghanistan is on the point of “an imminent humanitarian disaster.”

The discover adopted a latest go to to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, the place W.H.O. leaders met with the management of the Taliban, which is now accountable for the nation. The W.H.O. officers additionally met with United Nations companions, well being care staff and sufferers.

“Cuts in donor help to the nation’s largest well being challenge, Sehetmandi, has left 1000’s of well being services with out funding for medical provides and salaries for well being employees,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the W.H.O., and Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the group’s regional director for the Jap Mediterranean, stated in a joint assertion on Wednesday.

Roughly two-thirds of the nation’s well being services are a part of Sehatmandi, a three-year, $600 million challenge administered by the World Financial institution and financed by the U.S. Company for Worldwide Improvement, the European Union, the World Financial institution and different donors.

As a result of funds for the challenge have been funneled by the Ministry of Public Well being, donors withdrew their help after the Taliban seized energy. Now, solely one-sixth of all Sehatmandi services are absolutely practical, in accordance with the W.H.O.

“Many of those services have now decreased operations or shut down, forcing well being suppliers to make arduous choices on who to avoid wasting and who to let die,” the assertion stated.

Officers additionally stated that 9 of the 37 hospitals treating Covid-19 in Afghanistan have closed, and coronavirus surveillance, testing and vaccination efforts have contracted.

Afghanistan, which emerged from a surge in virus infections on the finish of June, is beginning to see instances rise once more, this time involving the extremely contagious Delta variant.

Earlier than final month, the W.H.O. stated, about 2.2 million individuals, or about 6 p.c of Afghanistan’s inhabitants, had been vaccinated towards Covid-19. However in latest weeks, the group stated, vaccination charges have slowed markedly, and a few 1.8 million vaccine doses within the nation stay unused.

The nation’s performing well being minister and final remaining holdover from the pre-Taliban Cupboard, Dr. Wahid Majrooh, stepped down on Tuesday.

Martin Griffiths, the U.N.’s underneath secretary for emergency reduction, stated on Wednesday that he was releasing $45 million to assist forestall Afghanistan’s well being care system from collapsing.

“Medicines, medical provides and gasoline are operating out in Afghanistan,” Mr. Griffiths stated in a press release. “Chilly chains are compromised. Important well being care staff usually are not being paid.”

On prime of the specter of a public well being disaster, new figures launched by the World Meals Program counsel that 95 p.c of Afghans lack safe entry to ample meals, a scenario that might worsen within the winter, when many distant communities are prone to be lower off from exterior help for a number of months. | Practically 1 in 4 hospitals treating Covid in Afghanistan have shut down, the W.H.O. warns.


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