Medical drugs

Health care in Afghanistan crumbles since Taliban takeover

Patients in different cities of Afghanistan are in desperate need of various types of medicines, which are not available due to the closed borders with Pakistan and other neighboring countries. Photo: File
  • Afghanistan is in desperate need of medicine, doctors in Kabul say.
  • The war-torn country lacks drug supplies due to border closures with Pakistan and other neighboring countries.
  • Dozens of local and foreign medical consultants from Afghanistan fled to the United States, Canada, Turkey and other countries after the Taliban took control.

KARACHI: Afghanistan faces a major health crisis as the country saw the departure of several health professionals after the Taliban takeover and lack of medicine due to the closure of the borders with Pakistan and the suspension of trade with India, The news reported on Friday, citing doctors in Kabul.

Patients in different Afghan cities are in desperate need of various types of medicine, which are not available due to the closed borders with Pakistan and other neighboring countries, the doctors said, urging aid organizations to organize medicines. to keep health facilities functional.

“Dozens of local and foreign medical consultants, who worked in various public and private health facilities in Kabul and other provinces of the country, fled to the United States, Canada, Turkey and other countries after the Taliban takeover, “said Dr Ahmed Waleed Yousufzai, a consultant hematologist working in Kabul, said The news by telephone.

Dr Yousufzai said the medical consultants who are still in the country are “extremely demoralized” as they have not been paid for several months.

He received his training in hematology from the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD), Karachi, and currently works as a consulting hematologist in the largest teaching hospital in Kabul, treating patients with blood cancer and d other haematological disorders.

Pakistani health authorities said on Wednesday that Afghanistan’s health needs were being assessed.

No money to buy drugs

Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan are also facing an extreme shortage of medicines, especially life-saving medicines, as they have not come from Pakistan and India since the change of government as the borders are closed and the trade is suspended, the publication said citing Dr Ahmed Waleed said.

“Medicines that save lives, especially chemotherapy and cancer treatment, are not available. If anyone has stocks, they are sold at exorbitant prices. People don’t have the money to buy the drugs, so the patients are in dire straits, ”he said.

Other drugs that are not available include: third generation antibiotics, drugs for the treatment of metabolic disorders, neurological disorders, heart disease, as well as those for the treatment of diseases of women and children.

Healthcare facilities are unable to treat patients with these conditions, Dr Waleed said.

He said, however, that “some essential drugs are available – thanks to international health organizations, including the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, but most of the NGOs have also left the country, so patients with chronic diseases suffer more every day ”.

Dr Waleed explained that many medical consultants fled the country following the Taliban takeover and sought refuge in the United States, Canada, several European countries and Turkey.

“Many healthcare workers, including doctors, paramedics, nurses and other staff are unable to perform their duties without pay. Unless this issue is addressed, the health crisis in Afghanistan will get worse, ”he said. This situation, said Dr Waleed, is changing. acute in Kandahar, Jalalababd, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat.

“Barely 5-10 COVID-19 cases reported daily in Kabul”

Speaking about the COVID-19 situation, Dr Waleed said things were “under control” as barely “five to ten cases” were reported daily in Kabul.

He said both public and private hospitals have an adequate supply of oxygen. “We have several private labs that do COVID-19 tests but their number is much lower than in neighboring Pakistan, Iran or even India,” he said.

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