WHO ‘exploring all choices’ to get medical provides into Afghanistan

“We have now only some days of provides left and we’re exploring all choices to deliver extra medicines into the nation,” mentioned Dr. Rick Brennan, Regional Emergency Director with the WHO Workplace for the Japanese Mediterranean (EMRO), talking throughout the bi-weekly briefing by UN companies.

.@WHO is on the bottom supporting efforts to deal with these injured within the #Kabul explosions yesterday.

Our medical & trauma provides are being utilized by the Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital for pressing remedy of the victims. We’re transferring swiftly to ship extra provides to the hospital pic.twitter.com/YphQJvIJ57

— WHO Afghanistan (@WHOAfghanistan) August 27, 2021

Pakistan is supporting efforts to fly in humanitarian provides, and almost certainly by way of the airport in Mazar-i-Sharif, he mentioned, with the primary flight hopefully leaving within the coming days.

The World Meals Programme (WFP) can also be establishing a “humanitarian airbridge”, with flights additionally anticipated to take off quickly.

Getting off the bottom

Previous to the assault, WHO had deliberate three airlifts of trauma kits, emergency well being kits, important medicines and provides for hospitals and well being centres in Afghanistan, however the gadgets remained grounded as a consequence of safety and operational points on the Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport.  

The blasts on Thursday focused Afghans fleeing the nation and army personnel securing the ability.  Greater than 160 individuals have been killed, in response to media stories. The Islamic State in Khorosan Province (ISKP) has claimed duty.

The UN condemned the assault, and has harassed the essential significance of the airport for facilitating the entry of support staff and humanitarian reduction. Though round 97 per cent of the roughly 2,200 well being amenities in Afghanistan are functioning, they’re operating in need of provides to deal with individuals affected by battle, displacement, drought, malnutrition, and the COVID-19 pandemic.   

“Due to safety issues and several other different operational concerns, Kabul airport will not be going to be an choice for the following week no less than,” mentioned Dr. Brennan.

“One of many challenges we’ve got in Afghanistan proper now’s there is no Civil Aviation Authority functioning.  However we’re working with the Pakistanis, notably within the context of Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, as a result of they’ll work with contacts on the bottom to make sure that all the mandatory steps to land an plane, to land a cargo plane, may be put in place”.

He added that insurance coverage prices for bringing an plane into Afghanistan have “skyrocketed” in a single day, reaching costs by no means seen earlier than.

“We’re making an attempt to leap by way of that hoop in the meanwhile,” mentioned Dr. Brennan.  “As soon as we are able to deal with that, we are going to hopefully be airborne within the subsequent 48 to 72 hours”.

Treating assault victims

The terrorist assault has accelerated tensions and volatility in a rustic the place almost half the inhabitants, or 18 million individuals, have been already depending on humanitarian reduction even earlier than the Taliban seized energy.  An ongoing UN attraction for $1.3 billion is lower than 40 per cent funded.

Requested concerning the influence the assault had on hospitals in Kabul, Dr. Brennan reported {that a} WHO accomplice, the Italian NGO Emergency, which runs a trauma hospital within the metropolis, has been “overwhelmed” in treating victims, who reportedly quantity greater than 200.

“After all, having access to provides is pressing, and we perceive that they have nice strain on their provides proper now.  So our proposed air cargo within the subsequent couple of days will probably be bringing in additional trauma kits,” he mentioned.

Concern for ladies and youngsters

The UN continues to underline its dedication to remain in Afghanistan.  Greater than 100 worldwide employees, and round 3,000 nationwide colleagues, stay within the nation.

WHO, which has some 700 personnel positioned in all 34 provinces nationwide, is very involved concerning the well being wants of ladies and youngsters.

© UNICEF/Omid Fazel

Younger women in Afghanistan who’ve been displaced by battle attend lessons in 2020 in a camp for individuals displaced by battle.

The company fears a rollback in progress revamped the previous 20 years, which noticed maternal mortality charges drop by roughly 60 per cent and youngster mortality by round 50 per cent.

Regardless that Afghanistan falls in need of worldwide requirements in availability of docs and nurses for its inhabitants, hundreds of well being professionals have been additionally educated throughout this era, together with girls docs, nurses and midwives.   

Well being employee ‘mind drain’

“Already we’re listening to that some feminine well being staff aren’t attending work, and that there was a decline within the attendance of ladies and youngsters at some amenities,” mentioned Dr. Brennan.   

“This once more highlights the necessity to guarantee the supply of medical provides to assist feminine well being staff of their work, and to encourage households to deliver their moms, females, women, and youngsters, to hunt well being care once they want it”.

Requested why girls well being staff have been reluctant to go to work, Dr. Brennan mentioned WHO assumed they have been being cautious because the company had not obtained any stories about bodily or different restrictions blocking girls from their jobs.

Hundreds of Afghans have been fleeing overseas for the reason that Taliban took over, and Dr. Brennan famous that well being staff are additionally a part of this “monumental mind drain”.

UN dedication to remain

Wanting forward, WHO will probably be working with donors, companions and the Afghan well being authorities within the coming weeks to make sure continued assist for the nation’s well being system.

“For the previous week or so, the eyes of the world have been targeted on that main air operation at Kabul airport. However as soon as that evacuation mission ends the big humanitarian wants will proceed and our work will then enter a brand new part which can deliver complexities on a scale that we’ve got not seen earlier than,” mentioned Dr. Brennan.  

“Despite these challenges, WHO and the UN will probably be there for the individuals of Afghanistan.”

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