World Health Day: A Call to Action for Afghanistan


Statement of the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

World Health Day 2023: A Call to Action for Afghanistan

April 7th, 2023

As we observe World Health Day on April 7th, 2023, the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan express grave concerns about the increasing health challenges faced by the people of Afghanistan. This day serves as an opportunity to reiterate the importance of equitable access to quality healthcare as a fundamental human right, which has been severely impacted by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The Taliban's forced seizure of the Afghan administration has far-reaching effects on the Afghan people's health and well-being. Maternal and child disease and casualty rates have risen, showing a lack of capacity and assistance on the part of the Taliban. It is critical to recognise the significant advances made in healthcare between 2001 and 2021. Sadly, these hard-won gains are under jeopardy, with potentially dire consequences for the people of Afghanistan.

A particularly concerning development is the prohibition on female staff in national and international Non-Governmental Organizations and the UN agencies, which has led to a significant reduction in the availability and reach of health services for women and children. The World Health Organization’s Emergency Situation Report (February 2023) reveals a 10% increase in maternal mortality rates and an 8% rise in neonatal mortality rates. The report further indicates that 70% of health facilities in Afghanistan are non-functional due to insufficient staffing, funding, and security.

In light of these pressing challenges, the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan call on the international community to advocate for the reinstatement of female healthcare workers in national and international NGOs and the UN agencies, to allocate increased international funding and support for the strengthening of Afghanistan's healthcare infrastructure, to foster collaboration among donor agencies, international organizations, and local stakeholders to ensure the provision of essential healthcare services, and to implement a monitoring mechanisms to guarantee the functionality and accessibility of equal healthcare distribution for all Afghan citizens.

In conclusion, on this World Health Day, the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan call upon international organizations to recognize the healthcare crisis faced by the Afghan people and to collaborate to realize the goal of "Health for All" for the people of Afghanistan. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their circumstances, has access to quality healthcare, and that the progress achieved in recent years is not lost amidst the current challenges.

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