Afghanistan


Massive polio vaccination campaign begins in Afghanistan targeting over 9.5 million children

polionid2A child receives the oral polio vaccine in Kabul. Photo: WHO/S.RamoKabul, 29 August 2016 – The Ministry of Public Health along with its partners WHO and UNICEF launched today a national polio immunization campaign to vaccinate every child in Afghanistan under the age of five.

What makes this particular campaign important is that most cases of polio occur in September and October, during Afghanistan’s “high transmission season” for wild poliovirus circulation. These warm months are when the poliovirus is most active and dangerous and typically the period when Afghan children are most at risk of becoming paralyzed or killed.

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WHO strengthens health response to gender-based violence in Afghanistan

“It is our job as health care providers to help survivors”

Nurse Arzo took part in the WHO GBV training in Bamyan province. Photo: WHO/S.RamoNurse Arzo took part in the WHO gender-based violence training in Bamyan province. Photo: WHO/S.Ramo

Kabul 4 August 2016 – Sarbaland, a man from the Ashkamis district of Takhar province, cut off parts of his pregnant wife’s genitals and beat her so severely that she lost her unborn baby last week. A day before this attack, a woman was shot dead by her in-laws in Faryab province. Earlier this year, 20-year-old Reza Gul’s husband cut off her nose with a kitchen knife. 

“I see so many cases of violence against women in my area. Last year, I saw a beheaded 22-year-old woman outside my village. There are so many types of violence, there are these types of “honour killings”, there are women who have been beaten by their husbands, women who have been raped. I also witness a lot of psychological violence,” says Zahra, a midwife working in a basic health centre in Bamyan province. 

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  • Massive polio vaccination campaign begins in Afghanistan targeting over 9.5 million children
    Massive polio vaccination campaign begins in Afghanistan targeting over 9.5 million children
  • WHO strengthens health response to gender-based violence in Afghanistan
    WHO strengthens health response to gender-based violence in Afghanistan

Events

Islamic Advisory Group supports final push for polio eradication

5 August 2016 – The Islamic Advisory Group for Polio Eradication (IAG) adopted a new work-plan last week to help in the final push to end polio in the last...

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National consultation workshop tackles nutrition challenges for Afghanistan

Kabul 2 February 2016 – The Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, in collaboration with WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the...

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In focus

Emergency humanitarian update, July 2016

July highlights Insecurity and conflict continue to hamper health care provision in Afghanistan: 31 health facilities remained closed in Nangarhar, Uruzgan, Helmand and Kandahar provinces. 32 395 incidents of weapon and conflict-related...

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Emergency humanitarian update, June 2016

June highlights Active fighting between government forces and anti-government elements resulted in population movements in the Kot district of Nangarhar province in which 251 families were displaced. 2 major blast incidents caused...

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Key health-related statistics

Population (000s) 28 500
Health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 7.1
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 31
Life expectancy at birth (2010) 61.0

Source: Country statistical profiles (2015)

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