Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, February 18th, 2018

The Questionable State of Health Facilities

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The Questionable State of  Health Facilities

Health is one of the most important blessings for human beings. When healthy people can live their lives properly and can make efforts to achieve their objectives in lives. However, when people suffer because of ill health, they along with their families have to face myriads of problems. Therefore, it is imperative that states must make efforts to support their citizens in having healthy lives. Some of the societies have been able to achieve great progress and development, and they have provided different sorts of facilities to their citizens in order to fight with different types of diseases; however, there are many other societies that have not been capable of developing great institutions, systems and facilities that can enable their citizens to fight even with the most common diseases.
Afghanistan is one of the countries that is suffering from the lack of quality medical facilities for most of its people. In the last few decades, though there have been claims otherwise, the people of Afghanistan have not been able to receive their rudimentary requirements of life conveniently. Since the birth of a democratic government, there have been certain improvements but the concrete changes are yet to be observed. Most of the issues that are related to the lives of poor civilians of Afghanistan have been handled on short-term basis. The donors’ money has supported specific projects that have only assisted the people for a specific period of time; in the meanwhile, in certain cases these projects only exist on the papers.
One of the fundamental problems which Afghan people have been fighting with is the issue of miserable state of health services. 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. On many occasions, there have been reports that have depicted the fact that many people, including children and women die in different parts of the country because of no access to health facilities.
Particularly, the rural parts of the country suffer to a large extent in this regard.
There have been many occasions, when health clinics have been built after spending thousands of dollars, however, they have not been able to solve the health issues of the people. In some cases, they have been victimized by the corruption and lack of attention by the relevant authorities, while in other cases; they have been victimized by the prevailing insecurity. In some cases, however, there have been efforts by the government to establish basic health units in some parts of the country.     
Nevertheless, the quality of basic health 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.
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 lose 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.
Moreover, a report released on Tuesday, January 23, showed that there is a lack of professional and qualified pharmacist in the country and about 75 percent of medical stores do not have professional pharmacists. Dr. Noorshah Kamawal, head of the MoPH medical drugs and products regulatory department, has also mentioned that barely 25 percent of all 14,300 functioning medical stores inside the country have pharmacists and the rest were being run by unprofessional pharmacists. Though the government officials have taken initiatives to produce professional pharmacists, considerable and determined efforts have to be made consistently so as to solve the issue.
With the pathetic state of affairs in the health sector in hand, different reports show that millions of dollars have been poured into the health sector; however, there are many Afghans who have their nearest health center at a distance of three days and unfortunately there are no professional staff in hospitals and pharmacies and the quality of available medicine is also questionable. Such a scenario is really dreadful and worth special attention; moreover, only lip service would do no good to change the scenario. Therefore, Ministry of Public Health and other stakeholders 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. Carelessness in this regard is a type of indirect murder.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at email.urya@gmail.com

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