WHO appeals for funds to prevent Afghan health system from collapsing

Kabul, Sep 21 (EFE).- The director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhamom Ghebreyesus, on Tuesday issued an urgent appeal for raising international funds to prevent the collapse of the health system in Afghanistan.

“I met with the Taliban leadership to discuss the current health situation in Afghanistan and the needs of Afghan health workers to prevent the health system from collapsing,” Ghebreyesus tweeted during a visit to Kabul.

He said that the country’s health system was facing serious problems such as “lack of equipment, medicines and personnel, funds needed to continue the Sehatmandi program,” which seeks to increase the quality of health services, nutrition and family planning.

Apart from the need to pay health workers, “the country had also been affected by “brain drain,” Ghebreyesus said in a series of messages, warning that the problems were “already causing deaths among Afghan people.”

The director said that the suspension of funds for the World Bank-funded Sehatmandi program, due to the Taliban taking over, had disrupted healthcare programs, especially for women and children in rural areas.

He added that over 2,300 health centers financed by the program were facing the risk of being closed down or having to reduce services.

Ghebreyesus, who reached Kabul on Monday to study the country’s health crisis, visited the Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan National Hospital to discuss the health workers’ needs firsthand.

“My heart broke hearing that nurses, who have been working day and night, haven’t received salaries in three months. They are doing the most invaluable job in the most difficult circumstances – saving lives!” he said.

The director said that international aid should continue for Afghanistan and oversee the reconstruction of the country through the Sehatmandi program, ensuring medical supplies and training for medical personnel.

“We reassured the medical team that we will stay And deliver further help to the best of our abilities.”

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