Afghanistan Health Cluster Bulletin, July 2018
Drought in 20 provinces across the country has significantly affected the health and nutrition situation of 4.2 million people. Health Cluster partners are scaling up their response.
The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) has been revised due to the drought situation. An additional $117 million has been requested from the HRP.
The deteriorating security situation in some parts of the country has led to the closure of health facilities in many districts and casualties among healthcare workers.
Health Cluster partners have provided support to primary health services for returnees in Torkham,
Spin Boldak, Zaranj and Islam Qala border crossings.
Measles outbreaks have been a major public health concern with low routine immunization coverage reported as one of the main causes. Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA) are planned for August and October.
Highest number of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) cases reported in 10 years.
Humanitarian Pooled Funding (HPF) has supported 98 health facilities. In total, CHF is supporting 24 projects
The government of Afghanistan declared a drought in mid-April and requested the international community’s support. Lifesaving and agriculture livestock protection needs are massive across the country. The potential consequences of severe food insecurity and limited water availability will affect the most vulnerable people across Afghanistan, particularly children under five who may experience a deterioration in their nutritional and health status due to poor access to potable water and typical seasonal spikes in diarrheal diseases.
The intense drought between April and September is expected to further aggravate the already poor malnutrition status within the 20 affected provinces, and the impact may extend to December. As a result, an increase in acute malnutrition caseload between July and December 2018 is expected. In addition, the severity of acute malnutrition among children under five may get worse, resulting in cases that are more complicated. Overall, it is reasonable to assume that the increase in magnitude and severity of acute malnutrition and disease will stretch the capacity of health facilities to provide treatment, and that in the medium to long-term, children will face heightened vulnerability to morbidity and mortality.