WHO urges international donors to resume Afghanistan health funding

The World Health Organization’s representative to Afghanistan called on the international community on Thursday to resume funding of the war-torn country’s health program which was suspended when the Taliban took over governing the country, as the healthcare system had plunged into crisis, Reuters reported.
The deteriorating situation underscored the dilemma faced by many international donors, many of which are reticent to fund the Taliban-led administration, some of whose members are on international sanctions lists, but fear that the country is veering towards a humanitarian crisis.

“In the recent weeks, access to health care has significantly declined for hundreds of thousands of some of the most vulnerable Afghans,” Luo Dapeng, WHO’s representative to Afghanistan, said at a press conference in Geneva.

“The country’s already-fragile health system is overwhelmed,” he said, adding they were coordinating with donors to find alternative funding mechanisms for health facilities.
International governments have pledged millions in urgent humanitarian aid but questions remain over longer term development and other funding to an economy highly dependent on international assistance. Billions of dollars in central bank assets held outside the country have also been frozen.

According to the report, roughly $600 million three-year health project administered by the World Bank in Afghanistan has funded the operation of hundreds of health facilities, and WHO estimated less than a fifth were now fully functional. That has contributed to a surge in cases of measles and diarrhea, with half of Afghan children at risk of malnutrition and millions of COVID-19 vaccines sitting unused, Dapeng said.

Source:CGTN

WHO Timeline – COVID-19

Source:  WHO Timeline – COVID-19

31 Dec 2019

China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.
1 January 2020

WHO had set up the IMST (Incident Management Support Team) across the three levels of the organization: headquarters, regional headquarters and country level, putting the organization on an emergency footing for dealing with the outbreak.

4  January 2020

WHO reported on social media that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths – in Wuhan, Hubei province.

5 January 2020

WHO published our first Disease Outbreak News on the new virus. This is a flagship technical publication to the scientific and public health community as well as global media. It contained a risk assessment and advice, and reported on what China had told the organization about the status of patients and the public health response on the cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice(from WHO)for the public

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

 

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

  • Follow the guidance outlined above.
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.