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WHO: 3.2m Afghan children facing malnutrition

13 Nov 2021 - 15:35
13 Nov 2021 - 15:35

KABUL (Pajhwok): About 3.2 million Afghan children under 5 may suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the current year, warns the World Health Organization (WHO).

With health workers unpaid for eight months, the WHO also voiced its concern about the fate of medical services in Afghanistan.

A spokeswoman for the organisation told a UN news conference in Geneva from Kabul on Friday that international support was needed to deliver health services to the needy.

Margaret Harris said: “WHO has continued to deliver help and ensure the continuation of essential health services to save lives throughout the crisis in Afghanistan.”

However, she made clear that work could not be done without support from the international community and donors.

Malnutrition continued as a growing health challenge across the country, with an anticipated 3.2 million children under the age of 5 likely to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of 2021, she added.

Harris old reporters at least a million of these children were at risk of dying due to severe malnutrition, without immediate treatment.

Amid harsh winter conditions, the spokesperson noted declining fuel, electricity and medical supplies at many health facilities across the country.

“Since January 2021, there have been more than 24,000 clinical measles cases, 2,397 laboratory-confirmed cases, and 87 deaths reported. For malnourished children, measles is a death sentence,” remarked Harris.

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