Afghanistan: Travelling days for food
Like much of Afghanistan, Herat is feeling the effects of a crumbling healthcare system.
Health workers have not received their salaries for months. International aid has been largely put on standby following the takeover of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, also known as the Taliban) on 15 August 2021, resulting in the closing of many health facilities.
The third wave of COVID-19 is practically over, but the fourth wave looms large already and COVID-19 vaccination coverage remains extremely low.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been working in Herat since 2018 and has significantly expanded its operations in 2021 to respond to increased needs in the area.
Since December 2019, MSF has been supporting the Herat Regional Hospital’s inpatient feeding centre. The majority of the patients and caretakers travel long distances to come for care, and some from as far away as Badghis, Ghor and Farah.
Between August and October 2021, the clinic’s capacity has been increased from the initial 40 beds to 60, then to 100, as the number of malnourished children spiked dramatically, resulting in occupancy rates well above the maximum capacity.
The Afghanistan crisis
Our medical teams have continued to provide care to the people of Afghanistan throughout the current crisis.
Since May 2021, fierce clashes between Afghan forces and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, also known as the Taliban) took place in and around provincial capitals claiming thousands of lives.
Hospitals and medical facilities were caught in the crossfire, cutting off healthcare and emergency treatment for people wounded by bullets and explosions. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly displaced from their homes in the space of three months.