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Is Afghanistan’s healthcare system about to crumble? | The Stream

Al Jazeera, 16 Sep 2021
Afghanistan’s healthcare system is on the verge of collapse if the international community doesn’t step in, according to the World Health Organization.

The United Nations last week made an urgent appeal for almost $200m in emergency funding from donor countries. Last month, as a response to the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, the World Bank froze tens of millions of dollars in aid earmarked for Afghanistan. Money that hospitals and clinics depended on.

According to the country's acting health minister, Dr Wahid Majrooh, 90 percent of medical facilities across the country face closure because of a lack of money.

"Patients don't have food. The facilities don't have fuel - don't have oxygen," Majrooh said in an interview with Insider.

The Taliban on Tuesday thanked the nations that have so far donated funds.

"The Islamic Emirate will try its best to deliver this aid to the needy people in a completely transparent manner," acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told a news conference.

While the wisdom of funnelling international aid money to the Taliban government is debated, healthcare workers are trying to get a handle on the COVID-19 cases that are slowly creeping up across the country. Just five percent of the population has received at least one vaccine dose - a sobering statistic considering one-third of covid tests performed on September 7 came back positive.

In this episode of The Stream, we take a look at the state of the country’s healthcare system and ask what can be done to avert disaster.

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