Afghanistan is facing one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world and the number of people needing humanitarian assistance continues to increase. The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN) and non-government organization (NGO) partners have scaled up support to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the lives of the Afghan people. This includes sustaining the functionality of 108 hospitals across the country: 96 hospitals in 34 provinces under SEHATMDNI; nine COVID-19 hospitals located in Kabul, Uruzgan, Ghazni, Paktik, Zabul, Nimroz, Paktia, Kunar, Khost and Nangarhar provinces; two national hospitals in Kabul; Ata Turk Children’s Hospital and National Infectious Disease Hospital; and one emergency hospital in Panjshir province. WHO has teams on-theground, mostly Afghans, that are working with partners to ensure delivery of health services.
On 29-31 March, delegates from WHO, UNICEF, humanitarian partners, and Afghanistan representatives convened in a high-level meeting hosted by the State of Qatar to discuss interim health priorities for Afghanistan over the next 18-24 months. Health experts jointly reviewed the current situation and gaps in health service delivery and identified solutions to strengthen the overall service system. The delegates also discussed opportunities to improve health governance and coordination, and collaborations to meet existing and emerging humanitarian needs of children, women and other vulnerable groups.
Some provinces were affected by flash floods in the last two weeks. On 16 March, around 50 households in Sancharak District (Sar-e-Pul Province) were affected by the floods while on 21 March, around 50 persons were affected in some villages of Dasht-e-Archi District of Kuduz Province. WHO provided health kits to Sancharak District Hospital to assist in the response, including provision of cholera kits to deal with acute watery diarrhea (AWD) cases. One mobile health team (MHT) has been deployed to the flood affected areas. Water sources were also affected and WHO contacted partners to start WASH activities in the affected areas.
WHO has conducted trainings on health management, inpatient management of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), basic emergency care, health response to survivors of violence, and use of intensive care unit and ventilator. A total of 177 health workers have been trained during the last two weeks.
In response to the ongoing emergencies, over the past two weeks, WHO delivered 396 trauma emergency surgery kits (TESK), 19 oxygen concentrators, six portable ventilators, 12 portable section units, nine vital sign monitors, three electrocardiograph, three defibrillators, three ventilators, 49 infusion pumps, 491 Interagency Emergency Medical Kits (IEHKs), and 279 Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) kits to 36 provincial, district, comprehensive, national, and special hospitals to support trauma care needs of the people living in underserved areas.
Additionally, 189 cholera kits and nine pneumonia kits were provided to cover primary and essential healthcare needs of people living in underserved areas. The medical kits and supplies provided by WHO during the last two weeks will benefit around 1,472,730 individuals living in underserved areas to meet their basic and essential healthcare needs.
During the epidemiological weeks 11 and 12, there have been 6,529 cases of measles reported from the sentinel sites of WHO. Most of the cases (80%) were under five years of age and most of them were reported from Helmand,
Kabul, Kunduz, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces. The current outbreak started since 17 October 2021 and the number of cases continues to increase.
In epidemiological week 12-2022, there have been 4,287 samples that were tested in public laboratories for COVID-19, of which, 432 samples tested positive (positivity rate 10%) and eight new deaths were reported. This represents a 51% decrease in cases and 27% decrease in deaths, compared to week 11-2022. Cumulatively, there have been 177,548 confirmed cases (positivity 31.8%) of COVID-19 with 7,662 associated deaths (case fatality ratio 4.31%) reported in Afghanistan since February 2020. As of 26 March 2022, more than 90% of the cases have recovered.