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Covid-19 center personnel in Kandahar unpaid for 8 months

Covid-19 center personnel in Kandahar unpaid for 8 months

author avatar
7 Feb 2022 - 17:54
Covid-19 center personnel in Kandahar unpaid for 8 months
author avatar
7 Feb 2022 - 17:54

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Doctors at the Covid-19 Treatment Center in southern Kandahar province say they have not received salaries for the last six to eight months.

Officials say that the center has 136 personnel who have not been paid for six to eight months.

They say that the center is funded by International Organization of Migration (IOM) since last November.

Mohammad HalimHabibzai, a doctor at the 50-bed health center, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he regularly visited the hospital and treated patients, but he was currently faced with serious economic problems as he did not receive his salary since several months.

He said his four months’ salary was unpaid in the previous government and except for two months, he did not receive his salary since the new government was formed.

Sayeda, another doctor at the Covid-19 Treatment Center, also said that she had not received her salary since last six months.

She said her family was facing financial and economic difficulties so she has to be paid for her work in hard conditions.

Dr. Sajjad, director of the center, also said that there were no problems in the services of the center and the personnel of the hospital were doing their jobs on time.

He said the IOM had been funding the center since November, but the organization took responsibility for expenses of the hospital only for four months.

Sajjad said the World Bank was previously paying salaries and other expenses of doctors but the bank stopped its funding after political changes in Afghanistan.

He said 86 doctors, 33 emergency response personnel and 17 doctors in districts, which totals 136 personnel, had not received their salaries from six to eight months.

“Our personnel were paid and expenses funded only for a month in October by the Global Fund, after that time, IOM has taken responsibility for these expenses, but doctors are yet to be paid,” he said.

Sajjad said they are told they will be paid their salaries and other expenses but he did not know the reason why their salaries are still being delayed.

He said that their expenses and salaries for a month and a half reach 9.5 million afghanis.

About increasing Covid-19 cases in Kandahar, he said that probably the Omicron variant of the virus has spread in the province.

He said they had all required resources for treatment of Covid-19 patients but they had no diagnostic facilities to detect Omicron.

He said that 188 tests were performed on Saturday in Kandahar of which 93 were positive.

“We currently have 34 hospitalized patients who are well treated. When there is a patient in a location of our reach, we send emergency response personnel who take tests of all people living in touch with the suspected patient,” he said.

He said that since the outbreak of the coronavirus, 47,386 people have been tested in Kandahar, of which 9,037 were tested positive, 8,496 have been treated but 244 died.

Kandahar Public Health Director Dr. JamaluddinAzami told Pajhwok that the emergence of the Covid-19’s last wave in neighboring countries had also affected Kandahar.

He said they had all measures in place to respond to the disease and all needed resources were available in the Covid-19 Response Center.

He added that doctors’ salaries were delayed due to political changes in the country, but the problems would be solved as IOM has taken responsibility of the hospital expenses.

Patients at the health center also say they are treated well and doctors are seeing them regularly.

A patient’s attendant, Zainuddin, said he brought his ill father to the hospital three days ago and he had no hope his father would recover.

He said that his father was currently in stable health and he was hopeful his father will survive as doctors were regularly visiting him.

The official figures of Covid-19 cases in Kandahar is low, but unregistered figures show that hundreds of thousands of people are infected with the virus while thousands others have died of it.

mds/ma

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