Thursday, December 2, 2021
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Feature: Mobile health teams save lives in Afghanistan’s most remote areas

Shahpirai, 30, is the only real supplier for her husband and three youngsters.

“With my salary as a teacher, I could just afford to pay rent and buy food for my family, but not to seek treatment for my child”, she mentioned.

An upturn

Her scenario took a flip for the higher final July, when whereas strolling by means of her village she seen folks gathered in entrance of an elder’s home.

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

The medical doctors have been a part of a cellular health group supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) that gives medical providers to those that would in any other case haven’t any or restricted entry. In the most remote components of Afghanistan, the closest health facility will be over two hours’ stroll away, with communities in these areas accounting for most of the nation’s maternal and childhood sicknesses and deaths.

Even earlier than the present disaster, malnutrition was a important concern in Afghanistan: based on the most recent knowledge from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 3.2 million youngsters below the age of 5 are anticipated to be acutely malnourished by the top of the yr.

Parwana suffers from Sever Acute Malnutrition where children’s nutrition needs have also escalated following recent events, as economic shocks tip more people in Afghanistan into crisis.

© UNICEF

Parwana suffers from Sever Acute Malnutrition the place youngsters’s diet wants have additionally escalated following latest occasions, as financial shocks tip extra folks in Afghanistan into disaster.

From emergency to restoration

Shahpirai shortly introduced her then 15-month-old son to the cellular group the place she discovered that he was acutely malnourished and wanted pressing care.

“The doctor prescribed some medicine and referred my son to the Najmul Jihad Health Centre, with a note requesting immediate treatment”, recalled the younger lady.

At the health centre the toddler was totally examined, given medical and dietary provides, and registered in a programme for youngsters with acute malnutrition so he might obtain steady care and be monitored carefully.

“I returned to the centre regularly, and after three months the doctor said my son was doing better and no longer needed therapeutic feeding. I was also instructed on how to provide him with proper nutrition at home”.

An unfolding disaster

While the total ramifications of latest occasions in Afghanistan will solely turn into clear over time, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs studies that humanitarian wants in the nation have already risen sharply and that the health care system has been delivered to its knees.

Since final August, UNFPA has elevated the variety of cellular health teams it helps throughout Afghanistan to reply to the humanitarian health emergency.

The teams have defied formidable odds to ship important reproductive, maternal, new child and youngster health and psychosocial assist providers to moms and kids in hard-to-reach areas which are in any other case precariously underserved.

Amid a deteriorating safety scenario, the teams and UNFPA-supported static emergency clinics reached practically 50,000 folks with pressing medical providers simply final month alone.

Shahpirai says she is grateful for this life-saving assist.

“It had been impossible for me to find professional treatment for my son, so I’m thankful that the mobile health team regularly comes to our village to provide medical services, especially for women and children”.

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