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Many COVID-19 patients die due to scarce oxygen in hospitals, finds AMC

The coronavirus pandemic is taking its severe toll on Afghans at a time when doctors haven’t received their salaries for three months

AT News

KABUL: Majority of the hospitals located in capital Kabul are grappling with shortage of medical supplies, something that has led to many COVID-19 patients losing their lives due to lack of oxygen, the Afghanistan Medical Council (AMC) said on Tuesday.

Findings of the medical watchdog revealed that despite it’s been three months since the draft of awarding special privileges to those medical workers who are directly up against the fight of coronavirus was devised, these doctors haven’t received their salaries yet.

AMC, a professional body with a mandate to ensure patients safety and improving medical services, said the lack of balance in expending the budget allocated to combat COVID-19, as well as the lack of a proper recruiting procedure for healthcare workers in hospitals specialized for coronavirus care are some of the other findings of the institution.

Nasrin Oryakhel, head of AMC, during a press conference on Tuesday said the watchdog conducted a two-week monitoring of Kabul hospitals and found out that the majority of them were facing a lack of medical facilities and supplies.

She called the issue of scarce oxygen in health centers as ‘serious’, saying the price of a cylinder of this life-saving element had skyrocketed in markets. 

Oryakhel also criticized the disruption in medical services provided to non-COVID-19 patients in hospitals, adding that Afghan masses bore the brunt of lack of primary health services as well. She called upon the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to spring into action and properly manage the process of offering health services to other patients.

This comes as coronavirus emerged in Afghanistan about three months back. Since then the number of coronavirus patients has reached 25,527 with an average 1,000 cases being detected on a daily basis. However, health officials have admitted that the actual figures might be even considerably higher than reported.

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