It is a crystal clear fact that whenever and wherever a government fails to provide proper governance, different sorts of issues and trouble erupt and soon get out of control. Same is true for Afghanistan; as the government is not able to reach to the people properly to solve their issues they suffer from different social problems. There are many parts of the country that are remote and do not experience any sort of positive intervention by the government. Therefore, they suffer from lack of rudimentary requirements of life. Many of them do not have clear drinking water. Most of others live without health facilities and the rest are suffering because of unavailability of light or fuel to burn. Central Afghanistan, in this regard, has to undergo the worst circumstances. There are many governance issues in this region, but the government seems reluctant to reach to the people and provide due assistance.
Recently, it was revealed by local officials that seven children lost their lives as a result of an “unknown disease” in a village of Ghazni’s Nawur district in central Afghanistan in the last few days. There are fears that more than 40 children are infected by the disease. However, there are no proper facilities to face this challenge. Major symptoms of the disease include breathing problems, pneumonia and abdominal pains. Head of Ghazni Provincial Council, Khaliqdad Akbari has said that the roads to the district are closed due to snowfalls that have not yet been removed by the relevant authorities. He also stated that more children would lose their lives if the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) does not provide emergency aid to the affected areas by helicopters.
The situation is really tragic and require speedy action by the MoPH to avoid further loss of innocent lives. Moreover, this also shows the incapacity of Afghan government to provide medical facilities to the people of remote areas. Medical sector, as a whole, has been ignored even after so many tragedies that have taken the lives of thousands of the people. And there are large possibilities that any sort of contagious disease, if spread in any part of the country, would influence many people in not time.
With the situation as grave as mentioned above, the fact remains that the country is suffering severely from the dearth of better medical facilities for most of its people. The health facilities are not proper and most of the diseases that people suffer from stay untreated even in the large cities of the country. At the same time, the quality of services provided by government hospitals is really very low, their number is not sufficient and they are not established in most of the remote areas; therefore, most of the people do not have access to them. On the other hand private hospitals have been established that can, in no way, be afforded by the people who do not have enough food to eat.
Most of the people are compelled to go to other countries for treatment. They mostly go to the neighboring countries like India and Pakistan and there again they have to spend a large sum of money. Apart from the health services they avail they have to pay for the travel expenses as well. If there are such facilities provided in the country, the people would never require to go out and would not take money out of the country as well. However, it is important to note that such facilities can only be acquired by the rich people. As the ruling class in our society can pay for those facilities they mostly do not care whether the poor people in the country can have better access to health facilities.
Such a scenario is really dreadful and there should be serious efforts to deal with the situation. Short term projects will never solve the health issues in Afghanistan. Afghan government and the supporting nations must pursue long-term strategies to handle the issue, if they want to help the people of Afghanistan.
At the same time, corruption and loose control, regarding the quality of medicine that is sold in the country, is another major issue, which is responsible for further debilitating the health of the people instead of supporting them during their ill health.
Different studies by different organizations have shown that though millions of dollars have been poured into the health sector, there are many Afghans who have their nearest health center at a distance of three days and unfortunately two-thirds of pharmacies do not have professional staff.
Such a scenario is really dreadful and worth special attention; moreover, only lip service would do no good to change the scenario. Therefore, the authoritative people must take necessary measures and must curb the situation as the issue is very delicate and it is related to the lives of the people. The remote and ignored areas in this regard must get most of the attention.