21 August 2017

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Health

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.

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.

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.

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.

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