The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
Report

Afghanistan’s healthcare system facing significant funding deficiency

WHO will require an additional $125 million in funding to continue
to sustain basic health needs for the remainder of 2023.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in a report has said that Afghanistan’s healthcare system is facing a significant funding deficiency, and if left unsupported, will have devastating impact to the health of Afghans, especially women and children. Meanwhile, the WHO Director-General has called on donors to give generously so that the organization could continue its life-saving work in Afghanistan. The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghe breyesus says the situation in Afghanistan is grave, and the lack of resources and funding to support health workers and facilities is putting countless lives at risk. “Women and children are suffering the most. I call on donors to give generously so that we can continue our lifesaving work,” the WHO director-general said Friday. The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new alert calling for increased investment in healthcare service provision in Afghanistan, particularly in underserved areas that are severely under-resourced and vulnerable due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The WHO alert highlights the dire consequences that will result if underfunding continues in Afghanistan’s healthcare system. WHO will require an additional $125 million in funding to continue to sustain basic health needs for the remainder of 2023. After decades of instability, exacerbated by severe drought and natural disasters, Afghanistan is currently facing a prolonged humanitarian crisis, with millions of people living with poor or no access to health and food, putting them at severe risk of malnutrition and disease outbreaks. The revised Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2023 reveals an alarming increase in the number of people in urgent need of humanitarian aid, with 28.8 million people requiring immediate assistance, up from 18.4 million prior to August 2021. According to the WHO report, Afghanistan is in the midst of a prolonged humanitarian crisis. The report says Afghans live with an unstable health system and face the daily threat of food insecurity and malnutrition, a high burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases, ongoing outbreaks, severe drought, and natural disasters, adding that the vulnerability of women has intensified as they face increased obstacles in accessing healthcare due to the ban on education and workforce participation. In 2023, about 28.8 million people need humanitarian aid (an alarming increase from 18.4 million pre-August 2021). For the health response, 14 million people (including 7.5 million children and 3.1 million women) are currently targeted for health assistance. Of this, 8.4 million people have been reached in the first six months of 2023, based on the WHO report. The WHO is asking what happens if the underfunding in the health sector continues. The report says Afghanistan’s healthcare system is facing a significant funding deficiency, and if left unsupported, will have a devastating impact to the health of Afghans, especially women and children. Such a deficit will create huge hurdles in the access of healthcare, to those that need it most, which will in turn lead to increased vulnerability, particularly in underserved areas. Failing to address these challenges now will result in dire consequences for the Afghan population. S. Raqib

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.