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In Kandahar, 176 villages without healthcare coverage

In Kandahar, 176 villages without healthcare coverage

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Apr 16, 2019 - 19:56

KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): Public healthinfo-icon department officials in southern Kandahar province said on Tuesday they have identified around 176 remote villages in the province that needed healthcare coverage.

They say from 300 to 5,000 people live in these areas, with their total population reaching 600,000 individuals.

Provincial Public Health officials say they need budget, facilities and assistance from NGOs to extend healthcare coverage to these areas.

Kandahar Public Health director Abdul Qayyum Pukhla told Pajhwok Afghan News that 57 percent residents of Kandahar used to walk for one hour to find access to healthcare and another 87 percent walked for two hours.

He said around 176 villages remained deprived of healthcare throughout the province.

He said Kandahar was a mountainous province and it was difficult to provide healthcare services to the entire province in the absence of enough budge, personnel, and facilities.

Around 37 mobile healthcare teams have been appointed for provision of initial healthcare services in the province, he added.

Pukhla said around 20 sub-healthcare centers would be activated in far off districts in near future.

He said the mother mortality rate had recently declined by 50 percent in remote districts as compared to the past.

There were a number of others issues which created problems in provision of healthcare. The shortage of budget, delay in supplies, shortage of staff, less number of healthcare centers and lack of stranded buildings in some areas were serious issues being faced by the public health department, Pukhla added.

He said they received health budget in line with the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) count of 1.3 million population of the province, but the UN estimated Kandahar’s population as 1.6 million while polio campaigns showed Kandahar’s population as 2.6 million people.

As a result, he said, half of the province population was deprived of healthcare services.

Currently, 215 healthcare centers including the Mirwais zonal hospital have been operating in Kandahar. The centers include 71 state-run and 19 privately run.

Dr. Ruhullah, Worldinfo-icon Health Organization head in Kandahar, told Pajhwok that besides their organization, others organizations were also trying to healthcare services to people.

A tribal elder Haji Zahir Jan, a resident of Shah Walikot district, told Pajhwok medicines available in their district clinic could not meet the needs of the entire district.

He said most of the time patients had to visit Kandahar city, the provincial capital, for treatment due to the shortage of medicines in their district.

A number of other residents of the districts held similar views and urged the government to address their problems.

pk/ma

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