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Afghan healthcare system collapsing amid US freeze of funds

Afghan health experts have given stern warning about the dire healthcare situation in the country, exacerbated by a medicine shortage linked to the nation's frozen assets in the United States.

Medical experts say urgent action is needed to contain the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a measles outbreak in the country.

Acute malnutrition across Afghanistan has been cited as another health problem requiring swift action.

The head of the Afghanistan Medicine Service Union, Assadullah Kakar, said the poor healthcare system in Afghanistan, which worsened after the US pullout and Taliban takeover, is rapidly getting worse.

Kakar said Afghanistan is currently facing an unprecedented medicine shortage amid a sharp rise in drug prices.

The Afghan nation will soon run out of medicine to treat its patients if urgent action is not taken, Kakar pointed out in a recent interview with Press TV’s correspondent in Kabul, Rahmatullah Baghban.

“The country’s drug stocks and reserves will run out of medicine in the next 2 months, if nothing is done,” he warned.

Among the factors causing the deteriorating healthcare system and shortage of medicine in Afghanistan, Kakar cited the cut in international aid to the impoverished nation, as well as US sanctions as main factors.

“Medicine shortage is rooted in different problems. Firstly, most world countries have stopped medicine exports to Afghanistan ….. Secondly, a major amount of the drug importers’ money is frozen …. Thirdly, the Taliban have imposed certain restrictions on drugs imports,” Kakar explained.

The United States has frozen billions of dollars of the Afghan nation’s assets kept in the country.

The White House announced earlier this year that the administration of US President Joe Biden planned to block half of the $7 billion Afghan funds frozen in the US banks to distribute among the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks on American soil.

It said the other half would be allocated to humanitarian aid for Afghans suffering from the dire situation following the Taliban’s assuming of power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

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