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Commentary: Afghanistan was making progress on girls’s healthcare. Then the Taliban returned

A widespread ban on the employment of feminine medical staff additionally took maintain, which was lifted in November 1997 after the Worldwide Committee of the Pink Cross intervened.


Because the Taliban was eliminated, public well being positive factors have been important: Girls’s life expectancy elevated from 57 years in 2000 to 66 in 2018.

Maternal mortality declined from 1,450 per 100,000 reside births in 2000 to 638 per 100,000 in 2018. The mortality fee for kids beneath 5 years decreased from 134 per 1,000 reside births in 2000 to 99 in 2012.

Regardless of these positive factors, Afghanistan nonetheless has one of many highest maternal, toddler and little one mortality charges on the earth. In 2017, UNICEF estimated that there have been 7,700 maternal deaths. Examine this to the variety of civilians who misplaced their lives because of army assaults in the identical 12 months: 3,438.

Poverty, a healthcare system ravaged by years of battle, difficulties in accessing well being providers and gender inequality contributed to the excessive loss of life charges.

Dalil was Ambassador and Everlasting Consultant of Afghanistan to the UN in Geneva and now works on the WHO: “We should prioritise psychological well being, disabilities and different non-communicable ailments in Afghanistan,” she mentioned. Latest well being positive factors have slowed because of COVID-19 and rising battle.


If the brand new Taliban regime is keen to abide by a human rights framework, there may be scope for extra focused healthcare interventions to be funded by worldwide help.


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