Mobile medical teams save lives in the most remote areas of Afghanistan-global issues

Shahpirai, 30, is the sole provider of her husband and three children.

“With my salary as a teacher, I can only pay rent and buy food for my family, but cannot seek treatment for my child“, she says.

Get better

Last July, her condition improved. When she was walking in the village, she found someone gathered in front of an old man’s house.

“I asked what happened and learned that some doctors were treating sick women and children.”

These doctors are members of the mobile medical team supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) To provide medical services to those who would otherwise have no or limited access to medical services. In the most remote area of ​​Afghanistan, the nearest medical facility may take more than two hours’ walk, With communities in these areas It accounts for the majority of maternal and child diseases and deaths in the country.

Even before the current crisis, malnutrition was a key problem in Afghanistan: According to the latest data From UNICEF (UNICEF), it is estimated that by the end of this year, 3.2 million children under the age of five are expected to be severely malnourished.

Parwana suffers from severe acute malnutrition. After the recent incident, the nutritional needs of children have also increased, as the economic shock has put more Afghans into crisis.

©UNICEF

Parwana suffers from severe acute malnutrition. After the recent incident, the nutritional needs of children have also increased, as the economic shock has put more Afghans into crisis.

From emergency to recovery

Shahpirai quickly took her 15-month-old son to the mobile team, where she learned that he was severely malnourished and needed urgent care.

“The doctor prescribed some medicine and referred my son to the Najmul Jihad Health Center, and attached a note asking for immediate treatment,” the young woman recalled.

At the health center, the toddler received a thorough examination, provided medical and nutritional supplies, and was enrolled in a plan for acutely malnourished children so that he could receive continuous care and close monitoring.

“I returned to the center regularly. Three months later, the doctor said that my son’s condition was much better and he no longer needed diet therapy. I was also instructed how to provide him with proper nutrition at home.”

Unfolding crisis

Although the full impact of recent events in Afghanistan will only become clear over time, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that The country’s humanitarian needs have risen sharply And the healthcare system has been paralyzed.

Since August last year, UNFPA has increased the number of mobile health teams it supports throughout Afghanistan in response to humanitarian health emergencies.

These teams have overcome huge difficulties and provided basic reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and psychosocial support services for mothers and children in hard-to-reach areas, otherwise these services would be very unstable.

With the deteriorating security situation, In the last month alone, the static emergency clinics supported by these teams and UNFPA provided emergency medical services to nearly 50,000 people.

Shahpirai said she is grateful for this life-saving support.

“I have been unable to find professional treatment for my son, so I am very grateful that the mobile medical team regularly visits our village to provide medical services, especially for women and children.”

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