A World Health Organization official said on Monday informed that hundreds of medical facilities in Afghanistan are at danger of imminent closure because the Western donors who finance them are banned from dealing with the new Taliban government.
The UN health agency’s regional emergency director, Rick Brennan in an interview to Reuters told that about 90% of 2,300 health facilities across the country might have to close as soon as this week.
He said may Western donors had regulations which prevented them from dealing with the Taliban, without going into further detail.
“We are going to have a pause in operations in a large proportion of those (health facilities). By some estimates, up to 90% will cease functioning probably later in the week and that will be associated with increased illness and death,” Brennan said.
However, to fill the gap the WHO was trying to provide supplies, equipment and financing to 500 of the health centres, he said. The agency was also communicating with Qatar for medical deliveries to come by plane, he added.
“We are hoping to have up to two or three plane-loads of supplies airlifted from the government of Qatar probably into Kabul in the next week or so,” he said.
The further deliveries would include Covid tests and supplies to treat lingering diseases.
Along with other help agencies, the WHO has struggled to bring in medical supplies including trauma kits partly because of chaos at Kabul airport.
Brennan said, medical supplies continue to be flown in via the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and the WHO is also exploring overland options via trucks from Pakistan.