Chickenpox in rise, health clinics demandedBy Zarghona Salehi & Zainullah Stanakzai Jul 1, 2010 - 12:18
KABUL/LASHKARGAH (PAN): Health officials say that chickenpox disease is in full swing in the country despite several vaccination campaigns were carried out.
Chickenpox is one of the classic childhood diseases. A child or adult with chickenpox may develop hundreds of itchy, fluid-filled blisters that burst and form crusts.
Around 9,000 children died of the disease last year while the number for the first three months of this year is 3,100, an alarming increase, said head of surveillance department of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr Ashraf Mashkoor.
Poor quality of vaccination, no access of medical teams to the vulnerable areas and negligence of families are the main reasons behind the spike.
Meanwhile, local residents in the restive Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province ask for health clinics.
Currently, there is only one clinic operating on district level with too few equipment.
Nad Ali lays 20-kilometre west of capital city, Lashkargah, with most of its residents involved in agriculture.
"I had to trek for two hours to get to the district clinic, but the medicine they provide is not useful for patients either," said Muhammad Ismael, a resident of Naqilabad area.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News Nad Ali covers a large area, one clinic could not meet the demands.
Provincial public health director, Enayatullah Ghafari, also acknowledges the problem and promised to push for building more healthcare centres in the remote district.