Geneva, MINA – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday,
an estimated 3.2 million children under the age of 5 in Afghanistan will suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year.
Speaking at a UN news conference in Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said she was concerned about the fate of medical workers in the country because hospital staff had not been paid for at least eight months.
“WHO continues to provide assistance and ensure the continuation of essential health services to save lives during the crisis in Afghanistan,” Harris said.as quoted from Anadolu Agency.
“But these efforts could not have been possible without the support of the international community and donors. We need help to do more,” Harris said, thanking those who provided funds and supplies.
He said that poor working conditions for health workers in Afghanistan preceded the current crisis.
“Many people who work in primary health care centers tell us they haven’t been paid since March or even earlier,” Harris said.
WHO officials say malnutrition continues as a growing health challenge across Afghanistan, as an estimated 3.2 million children under the age of 5 are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of this year.
“At least one million of these children are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition, without prompt treatment,” Harris said.
WHO has sent supplies to 47 therapeutic feeding centers in 23 provinces and provided medicine and feeding equipment to 30 malnourished feeding centers.
However, worsening food insecurity will exacerbate the situation, especially affecting the health of Afghan children.
“As malnutrition grips the country, a coordinated UN response backed by donor support is needed to address the growing crisis quickly,” Harris said.
Fuel, electricity and medical supplies are still minimal in many health facilities across the country. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)