WHO boss, Ghebreyesus meets Taliban leadership on health situation in Afghanistan
Tedros Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organisation chief met with Taliban leadership on Tuesday to discuss the current health situation in Afghanistan and the needs of Afghan health workers.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who arrived in Kabul on Monday, is being accompanied by Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Following the meeting, the WHO chief tweeted,” Director Al Mandhari and I met with the Taliban leadership to discuss the current health situation in #Afghanistan and the needs of Afghan #healthworkers to prevent the health system from collapsing.”
He further added, “Health is a service that needs to be continued at all times. If Afghanistan’s health system collapses, the tragedy will be worse and many more lives will be lost. We can prevent this from happening, together.”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is also expected to speak with officials in Kabul over the World Bank’s aid cut to the Afghan health sector and possibilities for restarting it, acting health minister Wahid Majrooh was quoted as saying by TOLO news agency.
According to Ahmadullah Wasiq, a member of the Cultural Commission of the Information and Culture Ministry, the WHO chief will also meet with Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund, deputy minister Mullah Baradar, and the acting foreign minister of the caretaker cabinet.
Following the Taliban’s takeover of the nation, the WHO had expressed concerns over access to critical healthcare services in Afghanistan. “The people of Afghanistan need support and solidarity today more than ever. The gains of the past 20 years cannot be turned back,” the WHO had said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the WHO said that hundreds of medical facilities in Afghanistan are at risk of imminent closure because the Western donors who finance them are barred from dealing with the new Taliban government.
Around 90 per cent of 2,300 health facilities across the country might have to close as soon as this week, the UN health agency’s regional emergency director, Rick Brennan, told Reuters in an interview.
The WHO was trying to fill the gap by providing supplies, equipment and financing to 500 of the health centres, he added.
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