Pre-election insecurity in Afghanistan hampers health service delivery

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 19 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:420
  1. Fiona Fleck
  1. Geneva

    It's three years since the fall of the Taliban; now, with an election looming, Afghanistan's battle is for better health

    Mounting insecurity in the runup to the October election is hampering delivery of much needed health services in Afghanistan while severe cash shortages are threatening ambitious government plans to create the country's first modern public health service, say humanitarian and government officials.

    Even the humanitarian support that flooded into Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 is waning, most visibly this month when Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) pulled out of the country after 24 years after the killing of five of its workers in June (12 June, p 1398).

    Since then, another non-governmental organisation, Malteser, from Germany, suspended its operations in Afghanistan's restive south east after two of its healthcare workers were ambushed and killed, and the United Nations refugee agency said it was scaling down its operations in the region too.

    With less financial support than the Afghan government hoped for from key donors such as the …

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