29 June 2017

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health rejected as baseless what it said some media allegations about a number of staff lost their posts within the ministry, BNA said the other day.
“Some media want to release some empty allegations about the loss of some ministry’s officials posts to disturb the public minds,” the agency quoted Mohammad Ismael Kawoosi, the ministry publication director as saying.
Some needed changes, the ministry’s leadership had restored in its framework, had been based to the authority of the minister, under the approval from the presidential office, the agency quoted. The ministry regretted for losing what it called a precious time to spend in rejection of some empty media allegations, while it needed enough time to provide health programs and offer to the World Health Organization and other related donors to draw their attention for medical supply to the country’s remote areas. “This is ordinary changes could be brought within any government administrations,” said the ministry adding the allegations come after the dismissed officials go to any doors and raise complains to disturb the ministry’s programs. It said the ministry of public health, after the formation of the national unity government, was the first government administration that has fought corruption, but unfortunately some former officials of the ministry are making effort to bother the programs of the ministry.
High quality health services through finalization of the national health policy for 2016 to 2020, activation of medical councils, establishment of polio based strategic center in the center and areas subject to threat in the country and many other health programs have been among the ministry’s priorities to provide for the people, the ministry said.
At the recent session of the council of ministers, CE Abdullah lauded the efforts and services, Minister Firuzuddin Firuz and his colleagues provided for the people.

Saturday, July 30, 2016
Kabul (BNA) A foundation for the treatment, prevention and timely diagnosis of cancers has been inaugurated in Kabul on Thursday, BNA reported.
According to the Bakhtar News Agency, the Afghanistan Cancer Foundation (ACF) was set up as a result of efforts by First Lady Rula Ghani with support from doctors, private and governmental institutions.
President Ashraf Ghani, addressing the inaugural ceremony for the foundation, thanked his spouse, institutions and those who played key role in the creation of the facility, the agency added.
The president instructed the Ministry of Finance to attract foreign allies’ cooperation for the hospital, which he hailed as a major stride in the public health sector.
The first lady said: “It is very important to me that women suffering from breast and womb cancers are treated at this foundation. Establishment of such centers is necessary because people could be easily treated within their own country.”
She urged people to stand united in providing assistance and donations to the foundation in its fight against cancer. Such initiatives could save thousands of lives, she believed.
Eklil Hakimi, the finance minister, announced support for the ACF Fund. He said the government would donate $150 million to the fund.
International donors and charitable societies had been requested to provide as much facilities as possible to cancer patients treated at the foundation, the minister added.
Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health, promised a new hospital for cancer treatment would be established soon. The Ministry of Public Health had a specific strategy for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer, he said.
Fawzia Alam, advisor to Rula Ghani said: “Our objective is not only treatment but also preventive healthcare and early diagnosis of cancer.”
“The Oncology OPD at Jamhooriat Hospital has been activated with support from the Ministry of Public Health. Cancer patients, who had to go every three weeks to neighboring countries for chemotherapy, are currently under treatment in the newly established section.”
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, nearly 20,000 cancer cases are recorded every year in Afghanistan. Patients are bound to travel out of the country for cancer treatment.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Kabul (BNA) Minister of Public Health Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz on Monday laid down the foundation stone of the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication (NEAPPE) center, which would be put for public use in the next three months, BNA reported.
The Minister of Public Health said the construction of a building for the center would cost $2.6 million at the area of 400 square meter of land and would take three months to complete.
Dr.Ferozuddin Feroz told a gathering in Kabul that the center would be responsible for coordination and national solidarity on the issue of dealing on an emergency basis with polio cases.
“The center would address emergency cases of polio and would focus attention on other diseases later on,” the minister said, adding that construction of the NEAPPE building will be financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the said institution was among key health donors, particularly child and mother health.
The construction of the four-story building would be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS) and the MoPH would supervise it, the minister further said.
Minister of Public Health went on saying that six positive cases of polio were registered in the beginning of the current year in Afghanistan, where four cases were recorded in Kunar, one in Helmand and another in Kandahar. According to the minister, twenty-eight cases of polio were registered last year.The polio virus exists only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but efforts are underway to eliminate it until the end of the current year.

Saturday, July 09, 2016
Kabul (BNA) Forty years of unrest in Afghanistan left wildlife ecologists uncertain whether one of the region's rare sub-species of red deer, the Bactrian deer (Cervus elaphus bactrianus), had survived in the country.
But recently, for the first time since the 1970s, a survey team led by Wildlife Conservation Society, ecologist Zulmai Moheb with colleagues in Afghanistan confirmed that a small population exists. They say the animals urgently need conservation. Moheb, a Ph.D. student in environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who is currently in Afghanistan studying snow leopards, says that in the 1970s the Panj River in northern Afghanistan was known to have a population of Bactrian deer, and a protected area was proposed. But fighting and disruption intervened, and more than 40 years later almost nothing was known about the area and its wildlife. As Moheb and colleagues explain in a recent article in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Deer Specialist Group newsletter, the Bactrian deer prefers a rare habitat known as Tugai forest, shrubby thickets of tamarisk, willows, grasses and tall reeds growing along river valleys and flood plains of the Central Asian region. The deer's global population has fluctuated since 1950, with animals disappearing from a number of areas, the authors note. They faced pressure from hunting, habitat loss from gold panning and the pet trade. By the 1960s, Bactrian deer were believed to number only about 350 to 400, with populations limited to wildlife sanctuaries.
In November and December 2013, Moheb and colleagues conducted a field survey and confirmed that Bactrian deer are still present in Afghanistan by direct observation of a single live animal, indirect field evidence of others and reports by local people. For the latter, they used photos of large mammals known or suspected to have been historically present in each area. The researchers interviewed 77 men in 38 villages in the Darqad district of Takhar province in the northeast Afghanistan, and visited forests, rangeland and riverside habitat throughout the area. They say the global population of Bactrian deer is believed to have increased from 350-400 in the 1960s to about 1,900 free-ranging animals in 2011, "thanks to conservation efforts in the former Soviet Union territory in Central Asia," but the animals in Afghanistan are in critical need of conservation efforts.

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