Intended for healthcare professionals


Afghanistan’s health system nears collapse as donors withdraw support

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 29 September 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2397

Linked Opinion

A country on life support: deteriorating medical care in Afghanistan

  1. Luke Taylor
  1. Portsmouth

Afghanistan’s health system is collapsing and will cause an imminent humanitarian crisis if not tackled by international donors, say World Health Organization officials and medical non-governmental organisations (NGOs) responding to the country’s health emergency.

Some healthcare professionals fled the country once the Islamist fundamental group known as the Taliban took control on 15 August, and many have since stopped working because they are not being paid.

Only 17% of the 2300 health facilities run by the Sehatmandi project on which the country relies are fully functional, say WHO officials, and two thirds lack essential medicines. Nine of Afghanistan’s 37 covid hospitals have closed, and all facets of the covid …

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