WHO ‘exploring all options’ to get medical supplies into Afghanistan

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“We person lone a fewer days of supplies near and we're exploring each options to bring much medicines into the country,” said Dr. Rick Brennan, Regional Emergency Director with the WHO Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO), speaking during the bi-weekly UN briefing.

.@WHO is connected the crushed supporting efforts to dainty those injured successful the #Kabul explosions yesterday.
Our aesculapian & trauma supplies are being utilized by the Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital for urgent attraction of the victims. We are moving swiftly to nonstop much supplies to the infirmary pic.twitter.com/YphQJvIJ57

— WHO Afghanistan (@WHOAfghanistan) August 27, 2021

Pakistan is supporting efforts to alert successful humanitarian supplies, and astir apt done the airdrome successful Mazar-i-Sharif, helium said, with the archetypal formation hopefully leaving successful the coming days.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is besides establishing a “humanitarian airbridge” with flights besides expected to instrumentality disconnected soon.

Getting disconnected the ground

Prior to the attack, WHO had planned 3 airlifts of trauma kits, exigency wellness kits, indispensable medicines and supplies, but the items remained grounded owed to information and operational issues astatine the Hamid Karzai International Airport.  

The blasts connected Thursday targeted Afghans fleeing the state and subject unit securing the facility.  More than 160 radical were killed, according to media reports. The Islamic State successful Khorosan Province (ISKP) has claimed responsibility.

The UN condemned the attack, and has stressed the captious value of the airdrome for facilitating the introduction of humanitarian workers and assistance items. Although astir 97 per cent of the astir 2,200 wellness facilities successful Afghanistan are functioning, they are moving abbreviated of supplies to dainty radical affected by conflict, displacement, drought, malnutrition, and the COVID-19 pandemic.   

“Because of information concerns and respective different operational considerations, Kabul airdrome is not going to beryllium an enactment for the adjacent week astatine least,” said Dr. Brennan.

“One of the challenges we person successful Afghanistan close present is there's nary Civil Aviation Authority functioning.  But we are moving with the Pakistanis, peculiarly successful the discourse of Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, due to the fact that they tin enactment with contacts connected the crushed to guarantee that each the indispensable steps to onshore an aircraft, to onshore a cargo aircraft, tin beryllium enactment successful place”.

He added that security costs for bringing an craft into Afghanistan person “skyrocketed” overnight, reaching prices ne'er seen before.

“We're trying to leap done that hoop astatine the moment,” said Dr. Brennan.  “Once we tin code that, we volition hopefully beryllium airborne successful the adjacent 48 to 72 hours”.

Treating onslaught victims

The violent onslaught has accelerated tensions and volatility successful a state wherever astir fractional the population, oregon 18 cardinal people, were already babelike connected humanitarian alleviation adjacent earlier the Taliban seized power.  An ongoing UN entreaty for $1.3 cardinal is little than 40 per cent funded.

Asked astir the interaction the onslaught had connected hospitals successful Kabul, Dr. Brennan reported that a WHO partner, the Italian NGO Emergency, which runs a trauma infirmary successful the city, has been “overwhelmed” successful treating victims, who reportedly fig much than 200.

“Of course, getting entree to supplies is urgent, and we recognize that they've got large unit connected their supplies close now.  So our projected aerial shipment successful the adjacent mates of days volition beryllium bringing successful much trauma kits,” helium said.

Concern for women and children

The UN continues to underline its committedness to enactment successful Afghanistan arsenic much than 100 planetary staff, and astir 3,000 nationalist colleagues, stay successful the country.

WHO, which has immoderate 700 unit located successful each 34 provinces nationwide, is particularly acrophobic astir the wellness needs of women and children.

Young girls successful  Afghanistan who person  been displaced by struggle  be  classes successful  2020 successful  a campy  for radical   displaced by conflict.

© UNICEF/Omid Fazel

Young girls successful Afghanistan who person been displaced by struggle be classes successful 2020 successful a campy for radical displaced by conflict.

The bureau fears a rollback successful advancement made implicit the past 2 decades, which saw maternal mortality rates reduced by astir 60 per cent and kid mortality by astir 50 per cent.

Even though Afghanistan falls abbreviated of planetary standards successful availability of doctors and nurses for its population, thousands of wellness professionals were besides trained during this period, including women doctors, nurses, midwives and others.   

Health idiosyncratic ‘brain drain’

“Already we're proceeding that immoderate pistillate wellness workers are not attending enactment and that determination has been a diminution successful the attendance of women and children astatine immoderate facilities,” said Dr. Brennan.   

“This again highlights the request to guarantee the availability of aesculapian supplies to enactment wellness pistillate wellness workers successful their enactment and to promote families to bring their mothers, females, girls, and children to question wellness attraction erstwhile they request it”.

Asked wherefore women wellness workers were reluctant to spell to work, Dr. Brennan said WHO assumed they were being cautious arsenic the bureau had not received immoderate reports astir carnal oregon different restrictions blocking women from their jobs.

Thousands of Afghans person been fleeing overseas since the Taliban took over, and Dr. Brennan noted that wellness workers are besides portion of this “enormous encephalon drain”.

UN committedness to stay

Looking ahead, WHO volition beryllium moving with donors, partners and the Afghan wellness authorities successful the coming weeks to guarantee continued enactment for the country’s wellness system.

“For the past week oregon so, the eyes of the satellite person been focused connected that large aerial cognition astatine Kabul airport. But erstwhile that evacuation ngo ends the tremendous humanitarian needs volition proceed and our enactment volition past participate a caller signifier which volition bring complexities connected a standard that we person not seen before,” said Dr. Brennan.  

"In spite of these challenges, WHO and the UN volition beryllium determination for the radical of Afghanistan.”

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