Health sector still facing challenges despite of progress in Afghanistan

World Health Day is marked globally on 7 April every year. The day is celebrated in Afghanistan at a time when nearly 40 percent of Afghan population are deprived of access to health services due to various problems in the country, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
Based on remarks of minister of public health Ferozuddin Feroz, despite of various problems, considerable developments have been made towards improvement of health services delivery in Afghanistan.
Health sector condition which was unacceptable before and during 2001 has considerably improved during the past 18 years, but there are still problems as present hospital and medical laboratories are not responding the people’s needs; therefore, thousands of people prefer to go neighboring countries for further treatment of their diseases.
Currently, increasing of various diseases incidents in Afghanistan has created problems to Afghans who are mostly suffering diseases that are easily curable in other countries and changed to somehow incurable diseases among Afghans. On the other hand, incidents of fatal diseases as cancer and HIV are increasing in the country. Thousands of people suffering such diseases have lost their life due to that the fact that they could not afford to pay for treatment of their diseases abroad
Reports have shown that the people of Afghanistan spend more than $1 billion annually for health services delivery. Therefore, thousands of families due to dissatisfaction with quality of health services in Afghanistan prefer to visit Pakistan and India for treatment of their patients, showing low-quality of health services in the country.
Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is among infectious curable diseases that are treated in nearly 2,355 health centers in 34 provinces of the country where thousands of people unfortunately lose their life every year due to the disease in Afghanistan.
Based on WHO statistics, every year 61,000 people get infected to this curable disease in Afghanistan and almost 12,000 of them lose their life due to lack of standard health services in the country.
AIDS or HIV is also among fatal diseases the incidents of which are increasing in the country. Due to lack of standard health services, incidents of the disease are increasing year by year.
Meanwhile, cancer is also among diseases whose incidents are increasing in the country. According to Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), 60 people suffering cancer are daily treated in cancer control center in the country.
Based on WHO statistics, nearly 20,000 incidents of fatal cancer are diagnosed annually in Afghanistan where 15,000 of them lose their life due to lack of standard health services in the country.
MoPH stresses that in consideration to predictions the number of people suffering to cancer is increasing by 50% in ten years.
Lack of sufficient budget is considered as one of key challenges facing the country’s health sector.
Currently, $5 is allocated annually to each person to receive health services. The amount is very less comparing to amount allocated for each person in other countries. In order to address current problems in health sector of the country, it is needed that further budget should be allocated for improvement of health sector in the country.
Lailuma Noori

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