Afghanistan | News | WHO-supported isolation ward opens in Kabul

WHO-supported isolation ward opens in Kabul

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isolation_ward_openingMinister of Public Health Dr Ferozuddin Feroz inaugurates the isolation wardKabul 17 November 2016 – The Ministry of Public Health and WHO inaugurated a new isolation ward at Kabul Antani Hospital specializing in infection prevention. The isolation ward will ensure that people suffering from serious infectious diseases can be taken care of safely and appropriately and that health care workers are protected as they treat patients.

The new 10-bed facility is the only one of its kind in Afghanistan and it will reduce the risk of infectious diseases spreading to communities and across borders while ensuring that health care staff can work in a safe environment as they attend to patients.

WHO provided technical support for the construction of the ward which is equipped with a negative pressure ventilation system, 24-hour electricity supply, antibacterial painting, modern investigation and treatment equipment and personal protective equipment. The construction of the facility was made possible by US$ 274 000 funding from USAID and the Common Humanitarian Fund.

“The majority of patients who suffer from Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever or other life-threatening infectious diseases have often had to travel abroad in search of medical treatment. This new ward will be very beneficial for Afghanistan,” said H.E. Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health of Afghanistan. “As emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are threatening the world, such isolation facilities with well trained staff are also required in other regions such as Herat, Nangarhar, Kandahar and Balkh,” he said.

“Afghanistan like all other countries has the obligation to implement the International Health Regulations since infectious diseases remain one of the major health hazards in the country,” said Dr Mohammad Dauod Altaf, head of the Emergency Humanitarian Action programme at WHO Afghanistan. “WHO continues to support the Ministry of Public Health to build capacity in areas such as disease prevention and control. Utilization of the isolation ward will enable the hospital to efficiently treat patients and prevent the spread of diseases to the staff, other patients and people visiting the hospital.”

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Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

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