Afghanistan news and feature stories
7 November 2016
Over 5.6 million children to be vaccinated against polio across Afghanistan
The Ministry of Public Health along with its partners WHO and UNICEF launched a polio vaccination campaign today in all provinces of the southern, eastern and south-eastern regions as well as selected high-risk districts across the country, including Kabul city. The campaign aims to reach over 5.6 million children and will run until 11 November 2016. Polio is a crippling disease that is incurable and can only be prevented through vaccination. Every child under the age of 5 in Afghanistan should be vaccinated during each vaccination round.
29 August 2016
Massive polio vaccination campaign begins in Afghanistan targeting over 9.5 million children
The Ministry of Public Health along with its partners WHO and UNICEF launched today a national polio immunization campaign to vaccinate every child in Afghanistan under the age of five. What makes this particular campaign important is that most cases of polio occur in September and October, during Afghanistan’s “high transmission season” for wild poliovirus circulation. These warm months are when the poliovirus is most active and dangerous and typically the period when Afghan children are most at risk of becoming paralyzed or killed.
4 August 2016
WHO strengthens health response to gender-based violence in Afghanistan
Sarbaland, a man from the Ashkamis district of Takhar province, cut off parts of his pregnant wife’s genitals and beat her so severely that she lost her unborn baby last week. A day before this attack, a woman was shot dead by her in-laws in Faryab province. Earlier this year, 20-year-old Reza Gul’s husband cut off her nose with a kitchen knife.
25 July 2016
Vaccination crucial during polio “high season”; over 4.3 million children to be immunized
The Ministry of Public Health, with the support of WHO and UNICEF, will hold concurrent vaccination campaigns in July and August to vaccinate around 4.3 million children under the age of 5 against polio. These vaccinations are particularly important for children because the months between May and October are Afghanistan’s high transmission season for polio. The poliovirus is most active and dangerous during these warm summer months, putting Afghan children more at risk of becoming paralyzed or killed.
16 May 2016
National polio immunization campaign aims to vaccinate over 9 million children
The Ministry of Public Health, with the support of WHO and UNICEF, launched a national campaign today to vaccinate every child under the age of 5 against polio in Afghanistan. The immunization campaign will run throughout Afghanistan for 4 days with 65 000 trained health workers aiming to vaccinate over 9 million children.
25 April 2016
Accelerated efforts needed to close the immunization gap in Afghanistan: life-saving vaccines must reach everyone
World Immunization Week was launched today in Afghanistan at an event attended by H.E. Minister of Public Health Dr Ferozuddin Feroz and key national and international partners supporting immunization activities in the country. The yearly Immunization Week campaign, celebrated this year under the slogan “Close the Immunization Gap”, seeks to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination and ensure that people take action to receive all required life-saving vaccines.
9 March 2016
The Ministry of Public Health and UN partners call for greater efforts to step up gender equality
The Ministry of Public Health, together with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners, celebrated International Women’s Day at an event held in Kabul today. Ministry officials, health care providers and civil society organizations highlighted women’s crucial contributions to improving health care in Afghanistan while calling for action to step up gender equality and increase the number of women working in the health sector.
27 October 2015
WHO responds to health needs following earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Kabul, Afghanistan – Following the major 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck northern Afghanistan and Pakistan on 26 October, WHO is working closely with national health authorities in both countries to support emergency health services and rapidly assess the full extent of the health impact on affected populations.
7 October 2015
WHO supports health services in Kunduz – access remains restricted
In close coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and partners, WHO works to ensure that essential medical equipment and supplies reach Kunduz province. A medical team of doctors, nurses, anaesthesiologists and surgeons arrived at the military hospital in Kunduz on Monday and are providing health services. WHO also sent a trauma kit containing essential medicines and supplies for 100 surgeries to the Kunduz Regional Hospital.
Saving lives with mobile health services in Afghanistan
For the past 4 years, Dr Aziza has been working as a midwife at a mobile clinic in Nasaji-Bagrami camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kabul. Operated by an Afghan nongovernmental organization Serve Health Relief and Development Organization (SHRDO), the clinic provides basic health services to 450 families living in the camp.
26 April 2015
Vaccination Week kicks off in Afghanistan: Closing the immunization gap saves lives
Kabul - World Immunization Week was launched today in Afghanistan at an event attended by the Minister of Public Health and key national and international partners supporting immunization activities in the country. Immunization Week seeks to raise people’s awareness on the importance of vaccination and ensure people take action to receive all required life-saving vaccines.
18 March 2015
Millions of Afghan children reached in national polio immunization drive
Kabul - The first round of national immunization days (NIDs) in Afghanistan in 2015 was launched on 15 March by H. E. Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health of Afghanistan. The three-day NIDs campaign targeted over nine million children under five years of age in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Over 60 000 district coordinators, cluster supervisors, campaign monitors and volunteers were involved in administering polio vaccines and vitamin A capsules to children.
10 February 2015
Mass casualty management training in Kabul – Wardak and Nangarhar provinces to put mass casualty management plans into practice
Kabul - This week 25 provincial health directors and staff from NGOs implementing the basic package of health services (BPHS) and essential package of hospital services (EPHS) in Nangarhar and and Wardak provinces took part in a simulation exercise on mass casualty management in Kabul with the support of Emergency INGO. Under an ECHO-funded project, WHO supports the development of mass casualty plans and the training of health managers and healthcare providers on mass casualty management. This week 25 provincial health directors and staff from NGOs implementing the basic package of health services (BPHS) and essential package of hospital services (EPHS) in Nangarhar and and Wardak provinces took part in a simulation exercise on mass casualty management in Kabul with the support of Emergency INGO. Under an ECHO-funded project, WHO supports the development of mass casualty plans and the training of health managers and healthcare providers on mass casualty management.
30 October 2014
National polio immunization campaign inaugurated by Afghanistan’s Vice President
A national immunization day polio vaccination campaign was inaugurated this week in Afghanistan by the country’s Vice President, Mr Mohammad Sarwar Danish, in a ceremony attended by Ministry of Public Health officials, UN partners and donor agencies. This week’s campaign marks the fourth round of national polio vaccination campaigns this year.
28 July 2014
WHO highlights viral hepatitis as a silent killer in Afghanistan
Today the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners observe the World Hepatitis Day to increase awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis, its modes of transmission and the diseases that it causes. Viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E – affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.
23 July 2014
Post-disaster measles campaign completed in flood-affected provinces
WHO and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) with other partners have completed a post-disaster measles vaccination campaign in provinces affected by severe flooding in April-May this year.
13 July 2014
WHO supports training on mass casualty management and war trauma as number of civilian casualties rises
This week Emergency NGO is training 17 surgeons from 13 provinces on trauma care in Kabul, supported by WHO and the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO).
5 June 2014
WHO conducts training for health care providers from Paktia province on gender mainstreaming in emergencies
WHO Afghanistan office, together with the Ministry of Public Health, facilitated a training for health care providers on gender mainstreaming in emergencies this week. Twenty-one health care professionals from Paktia province attended the training, including nurses, midwives, psychologists, doctors and vaccinators.
18 May 2014
Badakhshan landslide: Mental health services and gender-sensitive relief among WHO’s key concerns
People living in Abe Barak village in Badakhshan, north-east Afghanistan, faced destruction and devastation in their community when a landslide buried around 300 homes in up to 50 metres of mud, leaving many villagers with nothing.
12 May 2014
WHO strengthens health care provision in flood-affected areas amidst challenges
Heavy rainfall since 24 April has resulted in flash floods in northern Afghanistan where 675 people have lost their lives and more than 16 000 people remain displaced. Recently, three more provinces have experienced flooding, bringing the number of people affected to 120 000. The floods have washed away houses and roads, and destroyed crops and livestock in 88 districts across 16 provinces. More floods are expected.
30 April 2014
WHO responds to health needs following floods in Afghanistan
Heavy rainfall from 24 to 25 April 2014 resulted in flash floods across 10 provinces in northern, north-east and western Afghanistan. Initial reports indicate that Jawzjan province is the worst affected. According to the UN, more than 132 people have been killed, 27 000 affected and 16 000 displaced in Jawzjan, Faryab and Sar-e-Pul provinces as of 28 April.
3 August 2013
WHO supports Ministry's response to flash floods in Afghanistan
On 3 August, heavy rains resulted in flash floods and high levels of water in 17 villages in the Surobi district of Kabul province, which affected 519 families, destroyed 458 homes, left 30 dead, and resulted in 22 missing people, as well as causing a significant amount of damaged agricultural fields and contaminated water wells.
21 October 2010
Every hour, 3 Afghans lose their vision
Kabul, Afghanistan – On the occasion of World Sight Day, the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization are launching a series of 10 eye camps to serve the less fortunate population suffering from cataract across Afghanistan. Thanks to a $90 000 donation from Kuwait's Patients Helping Fund, 2000 cataract surgeries will be performed across the country.
14 October 2010
13 million Afghans at risk of contracting Leishmaniasis
Kabul, Afghanistan – The World Health Organization (WHO) today launched its first global report on neglected tropical diseases. In light of an ongoing Leishmaniasis outbreak in Herat, Afghanistan, WHO along with the Ministry of Public Health and the Afghan Red Crescent Society used this opportunity to raise awareness about and advocate for neglected diseases in Afghanistan, with special emphasis on Leishmaniasis, a disease that threatens the health of 13 million vulnerable Afghans, especially women and girls.
11 October 2010
Video: Afghanistan boosts preparedness for humanitarian health crises
Preparing for humanitarian crises is at the core of Afghanistan's new approach to scaling up its health system. WHO is supporting the Afghanistan government and Health Cluster partners to increase their capacities to better prepare for and respond to emergencies related to conflict and hazardous natural events.
10 October 2010
Afghanistan appeals for increased, improved care for people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders
Kabul, Afghanistan –- On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, Afghan government officials, the World Health Organization and the European Commission reinforced the need to take action and make progress against mental, neurological and substance use disorders amongst Afghans.
5 August 2010
WHO rushes medical help to flood victims across Afghanistan
Kabul, Afganistan -- The World Health Organization has begun sending medical relief supplies to address health needs of victims of the flooding across provinces in central, eastern and northern Afghanistan.
4 August 2010
Afghanistan launches new drive to prepare health sector for response to crises
Kabul, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan has launched a new drive to better prepare its health sector, and the broader community, to cope with and respond to the impacts of conflict, hazardous natural events and other potential humanitarian crises.
Remote remedies: health care in Badakshan Afghanistan
The rain pelts down as the doctor and a burka-wearing midwife cling to their horse and donkey as they trot up a slippery slope, leaving the roaring river below. They enter the isolated village of Khaspak, where many of its 800-plus inhabitants wait patiently for their one opportunity a month to meet with a qualified health worker.
26 April 2010
WHO calls for intensified response to Afghan health challenges
At a press conference in Kabul today, Dr Eric Laroche, Assistant Director-General for Health Action in Crises, World Health Organization (WHO) and Peter Graaff, WHO Country Representative also said more needs to be done to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and in areas of emergency planning and access
24 April 2010
Afghanistan, UN launches Vaccination Week, World Malaria Day
It is vital to immunize more Afghans against vaccine-preventable diseases and protect them from malaria, government and United Nations officials said 24 April during a Kabul ceremony launching two major health events.
4 February 2005
South Asia slashes polio cases by nearly half
GENEVA -- The three countries on the Asian continent that still have polio are on target to end the disease this year, their health authorities said today. Last year, polio cases in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan were slashed by 45%. Similar momentum this year should put an end to the transmission of polio in this particularly crowded corner of the world, which has proven a challenge to global eradication efforts.
Afghanistan: WHO appeals for US$ 1.2 million to tackle largest single epidemic of disfiguring disease
Relatively small investment by international community could prevent misery for 200 000 in Kabul alone Displaced people and international staff most at risk Largest single outbreak of the disease in the world Decades of civil war in Afghanistan have not only destroyed much of the country's infrastructure. Neglected but treatable diseases have taken hold throughout this long history of conflict and defeated the efforts of doctors and clinics to bring them under control.
23 January 2002
Baroness Nicholson: Health crusal in Afghanistan's reconstruction
"Health is a fundamental building block for the reconstruction of Afghanistan," Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne said on her return from the Tokyo Donors Conference on Afghanistan. Baroness Nicholson represented the World Health Organization (WHO) at the Tokyo meeting.