Chaos and disruption at the Kabul airport is “delaying urgently-needed essential health supplies,” and impacting the already “fragile health system” of Afghanistan, World Health Organization spokesperson Tarik Jašarević said in a statement.
Afghanistan’s health system has been facing shortages of essential medical supplies and equipment in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jašarević pointed out, adding that the vaccination campaign has also been significantly affected due to the fighting.
On Monday, photos and videos showed desperate crowds on the tarmac of Kabul’s international airport, seeking a way out of the country.
Crowding at health facilities and internally displaced people’s camps will hamper infection prevention measures, increasing the risk of Covid-19 transmission and other disease outbreaks.
Afghanistan is also one of two polio-endemic countries in the world. Any delays and disruptions to the polio vaccine campaign “will directly jeopardize the health of Afghan children,” warned Jašarević.