Health Bakhtar News Agency is the official state news agency of the Afghan government, based in Kabul. The agency is a major source of news for all media in Afghanistan, gathering domestic and international news and providing information to outlets. Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:21:49 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Bamyan’s new Standard Hospital Inaugurated’s-new-standard-hospital-inaugurated.html’s-new-standard-hospital-inaugurated.html

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  A standard hospital was inaugurated in central Bamyan province with the presence of Second Vice President, Sarwar Danesh, Minister of Public Health, Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, Princess Zahra Agha Khan, Canadian and France ambassadors and a number of parliamentarians, BNA reported Tuesday.
During inauguration ceremony, calling inauguration of the hospital a historical event to the people of the province, Second Vice President, Sarwar Danesh said, “I hope the hospital renders different health services and be a place to solve the people health problems.”
Likewise, the provincial governor, Mohammad Tahir Zahir thanked the Canadian and French governments for providing financial support for the construction of the hospital.
He also thanked the Agha Khan Development Network for acting as an implementing partner of the project and urged all the parties to help in further development of the hospital from the provincial level to the zonal level.
Zahir also presented some of the key demands of Bamyan province to the Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, urging the government to assist with the implementation of the cultural master plan of Bamyan, establishment of medical faculty, maintaining security on highways connecting to Bamyan, reduction of poverty, and modification plan of the administrative units.
In their turn, Princess Zahra, the Canadian and French Ambassador emphasized on further development of Bamyan province and said the construction of Bamyan hospital is a symbol of partnership and close cooperation of the relevant parties for change and development.  According to the agency, the hospital has been built and equipped with a total cost of $22.8 million, which was financed by Canada, France and Agha Khan Foundation.

Health Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:29:00 +0000
Expanding Access to Vaccines Crucial to Save Children Lives

Monday, April 24, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  World Immunization Week launched yesterday in Afghanistan by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), WHO and UNICEF, together with national and international partners supporting immunization services in the country, MoPH said in a statement.
According to the statement, the yearly Immunization Week campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination and ensure that people take action to receive all required life-saving vaccines.
Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions preventing illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza, pneumonia, tetanus and measles, the statement added.
“Immunization is the right of every child. We must accelerate our efforts to ensure all children all over the country are vaccinated and protected from diseases. Strengthening Afghanistan’s routine immunization system is among our top priorities. Through immunization we can protect children from traditional vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and also pneumonia, a major killer of children under 5 years of age,” said Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health.
Afghanistan’s overall immunization coverage remains low with disparities throughout the regions. Vaccination can avert more than one third of under-five deaths but based on estimated routine immunization coverage, around 1 in 6 children still lack access to vaccines. Afghanistan’s under-five mortality rate remains among the highest in the world at 55 per 1,000 live births.
“Vaccines work to fight diseases, to protect individuals and communities and to save lives. We must make sure that routine immunization services reach all Afghans, no matter where they live, and that caregivers vaccinate their children during all house-to-house immunization campaigns,” said Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Country Representative. “We need to significantly step up our efforts to achieve universal access to immunization in order to improve child health and drive sustainable development in Afghanistan.”
“Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions that saves children’s lives and contributes to building a better future for Afghanistan,” said Ms Adele Khodr, UNICEF Country Representative. “We must reach all children with quality vaccines and intensify our efforts to reach the unreached children who are in greatest need and most vulnerable.”
Mortality due to vaccine-preventable diseases has decreased in the past decade due to the Government’s immunization efforts supported by local and international partners. In the past year, the number of health centers providing immunization services increased by 12 per cent, now including 1,767 facilities around the country. Currently 10 antigens are included in Afghanistan’s routine immunization program, available free of charge. In recent years, Afghanistan has successfully introduced new vaccines, including the Pentavalent vaccine protecting people from five deadly diseases and the Pneumococcal vaccine to fight pneumonia.
Afghanistan has seen major progress in efforts to eradicate polio in recent years and most of the country remains polio-free. In 2016, 13 polio cases were reported, compared to 20 in 2015. Three polio cases have been reported so far in 2017 from Kandahar, Helmand and Kunduz provinces.

Health Mon, 24 Apr 2017 04:07:00 +0000
Almost 7mln Children to be Vaccinated in High-Risk Districts this Week

Monday, April 17, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  The Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan, together with WHO and UNICEF, will today launch a Sub-National Immunization Days (SNID) campaign to vaccinate over 6.8 million children under the age of 5 against polio in high-risk districts in 27 provinces around Afghanistan, a statement from the ministry said. According to the statement, the campaign will be conducted in all provinces in the Southern and South-eastern regions, most districts in the Eastern region as well as selected high-risk districts across the country, including Kabul city. The campaign will also be carried out in Kunduz province along with four bordering provinces as a response to a polio case that was reported from the Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz in March, the statement added. “The most recent polio case from Kunduz, a 14-month-old girl, highlights the urgency of making sure that every single child under the age of 5 is vaccinated during every campaign, everywhere in Afghanistan. We must all play our part in ensuring that our children are healthy and stay protected from polio,” said Minister of Public Health, Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz. During the campaign, over 52,000 trained polio workers will go from house to house in their communities to vaccinate children. On Friday, polio teams will re-visit households where children were missed the first time the vaccinators visited to ensure that all children are vaccinated and protected, the statement continued.
All caregivers who miss having their children vaccinated should visit their local health centre where the vaccine is available free of charge. The polio vaccine is safe and it does not have any side effects, even for sleeping or sick children and newborns. Polio vaccines have also been strongly endorsed by national and global Islamic scholars, including the Ulama. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where polio is still circulating. Most of Afghanistan remains polio-free, but wild poliovirus continues to circulate in localized geographical areas.
Three polio cases have been reported in 2017, one from Helmand, one from Kandahar and the most recent one from Kunduz. In 2016, 13 polio cases were reported, down from 20 in 2015, the statement concluded.

Health Mon, 17 Apr 2017 11:18:13 +0000
Well-Equipped Neuron-Surgical Hospital Opened in Kabul

Sunday, April 16, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The most well-equipped neuron-surgical hospital constructed by UAE was inaugurated yesterday by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
In opening ceremony held on this occasion with participation of United Arab Emirates representative and officials for ministry of public health, the country’s chief executive said UAE by constructing Shaikh Zaed hospital has shown its recommitment to continued cooperation and assistance to Afghanistan.
Praying to the souls of those UAE diplomats martyred in Kandahar incident, chief executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said the UAE diplomats visiting the province for implementation of development projects were martyred by Taliban.
Dr. Abdullah by praising UAE for its assistance and cooperation with Afghanistan said the country had helped Afghanistan in various sectors in particular reconstruction process and construction of the hospital was an example of the assistance.
He instructed leading panel of the public health ministry to necessarily make use of the hospital’s possibilities and equipment so that Afghan citizens could see its positive results, adding that the national unity government was trying to strengthen and expand the respective hospital in order to address health problems of Afghanistan people inside the country.
The country’s chief executive also instructed ministry of public health to take practical steps towards collecting and reproducing health trashes as the issue would face health of the people and environment with serious threats, adding that negligence in this regard could not be accepted. In the ceremony, UAE acting ambassador to Kabul Ahmad Nasir al-Khwaja and minister of public of health also briefed related to importance and need of the hospital.
It is worth mentioning that the 100-bed hospital has been constructed by Shaikh Zaed bin Sultan Welfare Organization.

Health Sun, 16 Apr 2017 05:49:46 +0000
Raising Awareness A Must to Fight Depression, MoPH

Monday, April 10, 2017
Kabul (BNA)   The Ministry of Public Health and World Health Organization (WHO) celebrated World Health Day at an event here in Kabul yesterday to increase awareness and mobilize action around depression, a common mental health disorder and the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, a statement from the Ministry of Public Health said.
According to latest WHO estimates, more than 300 million people are living with depression globally, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. While accurate data on depression and mental health disorders is not available in Afghanistan, according to recent WHO estimates more than a million Afghans suffer from depressive disorders while over 1.2 million suffer from anxiety disorders, the statement added.
Depression affects people of all ages but the risk of becoming depressed is increased by multiple factors such as poverty, insecurity and conflict, unemployment, physical illness, gender-based violence and drug use.
Depression causes mental anguish and impacts people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally.
“The Ministry of Public Health has recently trained over 700 professional psychological counselors and 101 specialized mental health doctors. Of these, 300 are currently working in government-run health centers while the others are working for different health NGOs,” said Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health, as quoted in the statement.
“We need to fight the stigma and discrimination associated with depression and other mental health problems and ensure all people have access to help when they need it,” he added.
According to MopH statement, WHO has identified strong links between depression and other non-communicable disorders and diseases. Depression increases the risk of substance use disorders and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and it is also an important risk factor for suicide.
“Our campaign slogan for this year’s World Health Day is ‘Let’s Talk’.  For someone suffering from depression, talking to a person they trust, whether it is a friend, family member or health worker, is often the first step towards treatment and recovery,” said Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Country Representative.
“There is an urgent need for increased investment towards supporting mental health interventions in Afghanistan to ensure support is available for people with mental health disorders. We need to treat mental health with the urgency it deserves,” Peeperkorn was quoted in the statement as saying.
Depression is a common mental illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for 14 days or longer. In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide, the statement concluded.

Health Mon, 10 Apr 2017 12:56:20 +0000
New Health Info Center for Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Opened

Sunday, April 09, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Resource center for reproductive maternal, new born child and adolescent health was inaugurated in Prof. Ghazanfar Institute of Health Sciences yesterday.
In opening ceremony of the center, minister of public health Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz while considering inauguration of the center as positive step towards improvement of practical and visual learning facility for students said teaching quality depended on quality of health services.
He further said that the center would provide facility of learning new skills to doctors and students.
Head of Prof. Ghazanfar Health Institute Dr. Matiullah Sharq said information bases, resources centers and libraries could play considerable role in social, political, economic and cultural development of societies
Afterwards, former minister of information and culture Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen stressed on book-reading culture and asked Afghanistan youth to further read book.
In the ceremony, deputy minister of youth affairs for information and culture Dr. Kamal Sadat also asked all doctors and health workers to go the most remote areas of the country to serve their needy countrymen.
Dr. Shamsulhaq Arianfar also considered inauguration of the center as positive, adding that he would help the center in publishing information documents. 

Health Sun, 09 Apr 2017 13:28:22 +0000
Low Quality Medicines Import To Be Prevented, Dr. Abdullah Low Quality Medicines Import To Be Prevented, Dr. Abdullah

Saturday April 8, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Delivering speech in inauguration of the laboratory for controlling of the quality of medicines, health and food products, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said investment on such laboratories to guarantee health of the Afghan people, BNA reported.
According to the agency, Dr. Abdullah while inaugurating the laboratory on Thursday said trafficking and illegal importation of the low quality medicine has heavily harmed the society and its negative impact was known to everyone. He added that establishing of such laboratory to further decrease low quality medicines in the market. Dr. Abdullah further said that such laboratory to ease domestic production of medicines and would prevent illegal importation of the low quality medicines to the country. Meanwhile Chief Executive vowed to establish such laboratories in other major Provinces of Balkh, Nangarhar, Herat and Kandahar to prevent wandering of the country’s merchants.
“We have high level medical professors, but low quality medicines have undermined their capabilities,” Dr. Abdullah told the gathering, asking the Ministry of Public Health to work hard and prove transparency and impartiality in the center. Addressing the ceremony, Minister of Public Health Firozudding Firoz said the laboratory was established at the total amount of USD 2 million, adding the center would decease trafficking of low quality medicines by 20 percent.

Health Sat, 08 Apr 2017 06:47:48 +0000
CE Abdullah Inaugurates New Building Of National Emergency Operation Center For Polio Eradication CE Abdullah Inaugurates New Building Of National Emergency Operation Center For Polio Eradication

Tuesday April 4, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah inaugurated national emergency operation center for anti-polio.
In a ceremony held yesterday on this occasion with participation of minister of public health, representatives of Bill Gates Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and UNDP to Afghanistan, the country’s chief executive considered eradication of polio as big human and national responsibility, adding that eradication of polio program was in top priority of the Afghanistan government which was committed to eradicate the menace.
In the session, representative of Bill Gates Foundation by stressing on the foundation’s continued assistance to the people and government of Afghanistan regarded construction of the center as a big step towards improvement in polio eradication services, adding that this was not the end of work, but it was the start of joint cooperation in connection with eradiation of polio virus in the country.  

Health Tue, 04 Apr 2017 05:51:12 +0000
Spring Anti-Polio Vaccination Campaign Started In Logar Spring Anti-Polio Vaccination Campaign Started In Logar

Tuesday March 28, 2017

Pul-e-Alam City (BNA) First spring round of anti-polio vaccination campaign with dropping of two drops of vaccine has started in eastern Logar province yesterday.
Noor Abas Qassemi deputy of public health department in Logar told BNA reporter, in this round to give immunity doze to 121,093 children under the age of five and vitamin A to be distributed for 106,562 under five-year-old children throughout the province.
Anti-polio vaccination will be implemented by 706 volunteers and health workers in the province, Qassemi added.
Mohammad Halim Fedayee governor of Logar asked tribal elders, media, civil society activists and all residents of the province to cooperate with health employees regarding implementation of anti-polio vaccination.
Since eight years no any polio cases registered in Logar province.

Health Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:46:33 +0000
MoPH Launches Aggressive National Campaign To Stop Polio MoPH Launches Aggressive National Campaign To Stop Polio

Monday March 27, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The Ministry of Public Health yesterday launched the first spring round of National Immunization Days (NIDs) for polio eradication in 2017, a statement from the ministry said.
According to the statement, the campaign which will take place from 27-31 March is the first national campaign in 2017. More than 8.8 million children under five will be vaccinated against polio and more than 7.9 million aged 6 months to 5 years will be given vitamin A tablets, the statement added. The campaign will cover all provinces, except Bamyan, Daikondi and Ghor provinces due to cold weather. The Minister of Public Health Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz reiterated the importance of this campaign and the need to reach all children under five regardless of where they live. He reiterated the need to ensure the safety of the committed volunteers and front line health workers to perform successfully their noble duties in delivering health services to every Afghan household to protect all children from this paralyzing disease, the statement continued. The Minister of Public Health reiterated the importance of polio vaccine to ensure all children are protected from the crippling effects of polio. Most countries of the world are now free from polio as a result of immunization.
Afghanistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio still exists. Fortunately polio can be eliminated completely like smallpox. Afghanistan has made significant progress in the effort to stop polio and is accelerating efforts to ensure polio is finished for good. This national campaign will be run by 65,000 polio workers who will go from house to house in their communities to vaccinate children. On Friday of this week, polio teams will revisit households where children were missed the first time the vaccinators visited to ensure that all children are vaccinated and protected. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where polio is still circulating. Two polio cases have been reported in 2017, one from Helmand and one from Kandahar. In 2016, 13 polio cases were reported, down from 20 in 2015. Most of Afghanistan remains polio-free, but wild poliovirus continues to circulate in localized geographical areas in the eastern, southern and south-eastern parts of the country.
Meanwhile Dr. Richard Peeper Korn, Representative of WHO and Ms. Adele Khodr, Representative of UNICEF spoke on the issue and reiterated their cooperation with government of Afghanistan in eradication of polio from this country. Polio vaccine is safe and it does not have any side effects even for sleeping, sick and newborn children. Polio vaccines have been endorsed by scholars including national and global Ulema.  While last year was a challenging year for polio eradication in Afghanistan, significant progress and new initiatives have been implemented in strengthening of this program. All polio eradication activities have been brought under one leadership. Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) have been established at the national and sub-national level. The surveillance system in the country is of international standard now. Polio eradication program is now fully supported by the top leadership of the government and inter-ministerial coordination has been established.
The support and commitment of national and international religious scholars has been gained. The public awareness and knowledge has been raised throughout the country with the support of media and other communication tools. The public support and contribution has increased to polio eradication program. The independence and transparency of the program have been maintained between the government and opposition. The quality of campaigns, routine immunization and rapid response to polio cases has improved tremendously, the statement concluded.

Health Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:07:58 +0000