Afghanistan's healthcare system is on the verge of collapse

KABUL (AP) -- Diesel fuel required to produce oxygen for patients with coronavirus has run out. The supplies of many essential drugs have also run out. Although the staff has been unpaid for many months, they still show up to work but are finding it difficult to pay their bills at home.

Afghanistan's healthcare system is on the verge of collapse

This is what the Afghan-Japan Hospital of communicable Diseases, Kabul's only COVID-19 facility, is facing. Although the coronavirus situation has improved in Afghanistan since the peak of cases a few months back, it is the hospital that still needs to be supported.

This is an indication of the crisis in Afghanistan’s health system. It is at the brink of collapse, and can function only with the help of aid organizations.

"We face many difficulties here," Dr. Ahmad Fatah Habibyar said. He cited three months of unpaid salary, shortages in equipment and drugs, as well as a lack food.

He said that some of the staff are facing financial hardships and are considering selling their furniture to help them make ends meet.

"Oxygen is an issue for us because the generators can't be run," he stated, noting that the hospital's production plant hasn’t been operational for months "because it can’t afford diesel." Instead, COVID-19 patients get oxygen cylinders from a local supplier.

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