The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to support the delivery of life-saving health services in Afghanistan.
In the last two-weeks, WHO teams conducted field visits to Laghman, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, Ghazni, Badakhshan, Takhar and Kandahar provinces to ensure delivery of health services in WHO-supported health facilities. During these visits, the teams met with Governors, provincial public health directors, Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS) implementing NGOs, and other health cluster partners.
A delegation of Emergency Directors Group (EDG) of different humanitarian agencies, including Mr. Altaf Sadrudin Musani, Director of Health Emergency Interventions of WHO, conducted field visit to Kandahar province to witness first-hand the situation on the ground and observe the ongoing humanitarian response. Besides visiting some WHO-supported health facilities, such as the Mirwais Regional Hospital and Spin Boldak District Hospital, the delegation had a meeting with local de facto government authorities, other healthcare partners, community health workers, and Sehatmandi implementer NGOs.
During the reporting period, one of the challenges in health service delivery in the southeastern and southern regions concerned female patients who were not allowed to visit the heath facilities without Mahram (an adult male companion of a female). This would seriously affect access and utilization of health services. WHO is in communication with the de facto health authorities at the national and regional levels to find solutions for access of quality healthcare services among female patients.
WHO also met with de facto health authorities and health partners in the northern and central regions to improve coordination and address public health issues and health emergencies.
During the last two-weeks, reduction in the new cases of acute watery diarrhea (AWD), dengue, and malaria continues while new measles cases are being reported every day. Furthermore, one suspected outbreak of rabies was reported from Paktia province which was responded by surveillance team. WHO has deployed 111 rapid response teams (RRT) to support surveillance and response.
Trauma and post-trauma physical rehabilitation services were provided to 8,920 people through the WHOsupported Trauma Care Units (TCUs) and physical rehabilitation centers. Emergency primary healthcare services were extended to 94,893 people living in underserved and remote areas of Afghanistan through mobile health teams (MHTs) and sub health centers (SHCs). The emergency medical supplies and kits deployed by WHO to various areas in the last two weeks reached 191,700 people in various parts of the country.
On February 24, eight polio workers were killed in Kunduz and Takhar provinces during the course of their lifesaving work. The national polio vaccination campaign was suspended in both provinces following the attacks. The UN and WHO have extended its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these courageous health workers.