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Italy donates $2m for improvement of healthcare services

By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: Government of Italy has granted $2 million for improvement of healthcare services in Afghanistan.

The donation will be spent to provide medical equipments, construct diagnosing centers, cancer test laboratories, and improve plastic surgery, physiotherapy and capacity building of health workers.

The cooperation agreement in this regard was signed on Tuesday between Minister of Public Health Ferozuddin Feroz and Italy’s Ambassador to Kabul, Luciana Pezzoti.

Minister of Public Health in a press conference said that the donation would be spent to purchase modern medial equipments for Istiqlal Hospital in Kabul and to strengthen healthcare services in regional hospital of Herat.

Feroz said that the ministry would construct two modern diagnostic centers including one for breast cancer in Istiqlal Hospital.

He also said that the ministry of public health is determined to build an ambulance services center in Herat province to shift the patients from remote districts to the regional hospital, adding that the emergency ward of Istiqlal Hospital would also be reconstructed.

“Work on renovation of the hospitals started six months ago. We purchased some modern medical equipment and the project well be completed by the end of December this year,” he said.

Feroz thanked Italy for the cooperation and asked Rome to keep continue the financial and technical cooperation for improvement of healthcare services in Afghanistan.

The ambassador said that Italy has started its financial support for Afghanistan ten years ago and is continued.

He said that supporting healthcare services is a major portion of Italy’s efforts for Afghan people and Rome is committed to have long-term cooperation with Kabul in different fields. “Health sector is an important section. We hope that Afghan people could benefit from this cooperation of Italian people,” he added.

Due to lack of standard healthcare services in Afghanistan, annually hundreds of patients go to Pakistan and other countries for treatment.

Officials at the ministry of public health claimed that Afghan government is unable to allocate adequate budget for improvement of healthcare services as the ministry demanded $90 million from Ministry of Finance for the next fiscal year. However, the finance ministry allocated only $38 million—a 50 percent decrease.

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