Mobile health teams save lives in the most remote areas of Afghanistan – Global Issues

Shahpirai, 30, is the sole provider for her husband and three children.



“With my salary as a teacher, I could just pay the rent and buy food for my family, but could not seek treatment for my child“, He said.

a raise

His condition improved last July, when, while passing through his village, he saw people gathered in front of an elderly man’s house.



“I asked what was going on and learned that some doctors were treating sick women and children”.

The doctors were part of a mobile health team supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which provides medical services to persons who would otherwise have no or limited access. In the most remote parts of Afghanistan, the nearest health facility can be more than a two-hour walk, with communities in these areas It is responsible for the majority of maternal and childhood diseases and deaths in the country.



Even before the current crisis, malnutrition was a serious concern in Afghanistan: according to the latest data from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 3.2 million children under the age of five are expected to be severely malnourished by the end of the year.

Parwana suffers from severe malnutrition, where the nutritional needs of children have increased after recent events, as economic shocks put more people in distress in Afghanistan.

© UNICEF

Parwana suffers from severe malnutrition, where the nutritional needs of children have increased after recent events, as economic shocks put more people in distress in Afghanistan.

from emergency to recovery

Shahpirai quickly brought his 15-month-old son to the mobile team, where he learned he was severely malnourished and needed immediate care.



“The doctor prescribed some medicine and referred my son to the Najmul Jihad health center, requesting immediate treatment,” the girl recalled.

The child was thoroughly screened at the health center, given medical and nutritional supplies, and registered in a program for children with severe malnutrition to receive ongoing care and close monitoring.

“I returned to the center regularly, and after three months the doctor said my son was doing better and no longer needed medical food. I was also instructed on how to provide him with proper nutrition at home Go.”

looming crisis

While the full effects of recent events in Afghanistan will become clearer over time, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that Humanitarian needs have already increased rapidly in the country And that the health care system has been brought to its knees.

Since last August, UNFPA has increased the number of mobile health teams it supports across Afghanistan to respond to the humanitarian health emergency.

Teams have defied formidable barriers to providing essential reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health and psychosocial support services to mothers and children in inaccessible areas, which are otherwise precariously under-served.

Amidst the deteriorating security situation, teams and UNFPA-supported static emergency clinics reached nearly 50,000 people with immediate medical services in the last month alone,

Shahpirai says he is grateful for this life-saving assistance.

“It was impossible for me to find professional treatment for my son, so I am grateful that the mobile health team regularly visits our village to provide medical services for women and children”.

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