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Editorial: Healthcare system improved

Growing rate of sufficient access to quality health care is something to be celebrated widely because health is wealth. After the collapse of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan inherited a devastated health system and some of the worst health statistics in the world. After 2001, the darkest area of the Taliban insurgents ended, the Afghan government with support of the international community spare no efforts to promote health care system as a result health services across the country increased dramatically. More hospitals, clinics, and facilities have been built, and women gained access to basic healthcare. Overall health facilities improved, supply of essential medicines increased, and the health information system become more functional. Indeed, health systems emerging from conflict are often characterized by damaged infrastructure, limited human resources, weak stewardship and proliferation of non-government organizations. But the way the related officials did to overcome health challenges were unique. Ministry of Public Health recently said 60 percent of the people now have access to health services across the country—this is great news, but 40 percent inaccessibility is a great concern. According to the ministry access to healthcare has improved and that once healthcare centers have been built in remote areas, at least 90 percent of the people will have easy access to medical facilities. We are among the most fragile and conflict-affected countries in the globe. We have gone through uninterrupted conflict for the last thirty years, with the present conflict now lasting over a decade. This years of civil war and violence has had a devastating effect on the healthcare system, and have seen increasing rates of preventable disease such as diarrhea and respiratory infection, and also unpreventable. It is a fact that people continue to die because they don’t have access to adequate healthcare. The 40 percent Afghans who don’t have access to healthcare is a major problem—the 60 percents progress must not diverges from the reality of 40 percent.  More work must be done with support of international community to bring the level of health access to 90 percent if not 100—because healthcare is the basic right of every human. There is no denying to the fact that thousands of Afghans travel to India each month in search of medical treatment. Poor healthcare and mistaken treatment in Afghanistan are causing this number to grow. This journey to India is not only stressful, but also very expensive—the cost of a flight, hotel, translator and treatment can add up to several thousand dollars. The current effort of the health ministry is appreciable, but still there is huge challenge that must be addressed—there is no compromise as far as healthcare concerns.

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