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Poor medical facilities in Afghanistan mean patients turn to hospitals in Pakistan

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2291 (Published 30 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2291
  1. Ashfaq Yusufzai
  1. 1Peshawar, Pakistan

    Afghans are still crossing into neighbouring Pakistan to seek basic medical services despite the fall of the Taliban government three years ago and subsequent international pledges to restore the war ravaged country.

    “The hospitals in Afghanistan are rudimentary. They are understaffed, there are not enough drugs, and they lack specialist facilities,” said Mamoon Mahmood, a medical doctor in Peshawar, Pakistan.

    Afghanistan’s healthcare services barely exist. An estimated 70% of medical programmes in the country have been implemented by aid organisations. The state’s health infrastructure could no longer function without them.

    Even Afghanistan’s largest hospitals lack the most basic equipment. High tech equipment is not available, and cleanliness is a luxury …

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