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Threats to us rising, say Nangarhar doctors, health workers

Threats to us rising, say Nangarhar doctors, health workers

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Jul 13, 2019 - 19:02

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Healthinfo-icon professionals and workers in eastern Nangarhar province say threats against them have recently increased and they face extortion, murder, kidnapping and explosions on a daily basis.

They set the government one week deadline to improve their security or they would resign en mass.

On Friday evening, an explosion occurred in front of a drug store in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital, causing huge financial losses to its owner who survived in the incident.

 A number of health professionals and drug sellers on Saturday gathered in protest at a plaza selling health products in Jalalabad and held a press conference there about security problems.

Dr. Najibullah Sahibzada, head of Nangarhar Medicines Sellers Association, said health workers in the province had been facing huge security problems over the last 14 months.

He said 83 cases of threats to health workers had been registered as 11 doctors were kidnapped, two were killed, 15 were extorted and some drug stores blown up with explosions.

Sahibzada said every doctor, drug seller or health worker had been threatened to pay money and hurled threats if they refused.

Dr. Nawroz Shinwari, head of Nangarhar Doctors Union, said that mafia groups were behind threats to health workers and mostly illegal armed people were involved in such issues.

He said illegal armed men outnumbered security forces in Nangarhar and they were extorting money and threatening working classes.

The local administration has failed to resolve these problems and now the Presidential Palace should act on this issue and stop illegal armed men from threatening people, he said.

A number of civil societyinfo-icon activists, who joined the protest, also said that not only the health sector, but everyone in the province faced threats.

Abdul Rahman Mawin, one of the activists, said that people in the province woke up to explosions, killings and insecurity on a daily basis.

However, Nangarhar local administration says doctors do not cooperate with security forces and pay illegal money.

Governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said doctors of the province had long been paying money to illegal armed groups without complaining to the local administration.

He said if doctors cooperated with local officials in detention of those threatening them, it would help reduce problems.

Health workers had previously also gone on strike due to threats against them.

mds/ma

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