Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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“A Disaster for the Foreseeable Future”: Afghanistan’s Healthcare Crisis

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Human Rights Watch, 12 February 2024

Here the report main findings:

  • The loss of foreign assistance has severely harmed Afghanistan’s healthcare system and exacerbated malnutrition and illnesses resulting from inadequate medical care.
  • Taliban restrictions on women and girls have impeded access to health care, jeopardizing their right to health; education bans guarantee future shortages of female health workers.

The report also provides data about Afghanistan’s health-system-related aid dependency.

In 2019, healthcare costs in Afghanistan amounted to $2.8 billion, 20 percent of which was provided by donors, and only about 3 percent by the government. Out-of-pocket spending by Afghans on health accounted for nearly 77 percent of all healthcare spending.

It further says:

While Afghans living in poverty have always faced difficulties obtaining health care because of costs, a rising number of Afghans now struggle to pay for food and are often unable to cover the price of medicines and transportation to reach health services.

As a Mercy Corps official said in September 2023, “The humanitarian response in Afghanistan simply cannot keep pace with the country’s worsening conditions.”

Among those most affected by Afghanistan’s healthcare crisis are people with disabilities. Due to decades of conflict and poor maternal health care, Afghanistan has one of the largest populations in the world of people with disabilities. Because of aid shortfalls, the few services for people with disabilities, including physical rehabilitation and mental health support, have largely disappeared.