USAID-funded 5-year health programme launched
A contract for the $37.9 million project had been signed between USAID and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) officials back in September, 2015.
According to USAID, the project would be focused on management, financial affairs and human resources at the MoPH.
US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Michael McKinley, on Tuesday told the project launch ceremony in Kabul that his country was strongly committed to working for Afghanistan’s development.
He said the Afghan health sector needed international support to be improved and both the Afghan and the US governments were committed to improving health services in the war-torn country.
He said Afghanistan had gone a long way in improving its health sector, but still a lot of work was needed to be done with support from the Afghan and US governments.
McKinley once again announced that his country was committed to addressing emergency humanitarian needs and challenges in the development area.
Public Health Minister Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, who participated in the ceremony, said nearly $38 million USAID assistance would be used for improvement of the management, leadership and human resources sectors of his ministry.
He said they would try to provide health services independently by using domestic financial sources instead of foreign-sponsored health services with the help the project.
Charging fees from patients in government-hospitals was one of the ways to attain self-sufficiency if the parliament approved a draft law in this regard, he said.
Feroz said partnership between the public and private sectors, building new professional hospitals, utilising MoPH facilities and properties and doubling taxes on cigarette usage were another ways to financially support the ministry.
However, the Afghan constitution prohibits taking fees from patients in government-hospitals.
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