FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): Recent snowfall has closed roads kinking districts and the capital of western Ghor province, limiting residents’ access to health services.
Abdul Basir Ahmadi, hailing from Pasaband district, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The snow has closed most of the roads to our villages. We cannot take the sick to health centers or hospitals in the provincial capital.”
Khuda Rahim, another inhabitant of the district, said: “As a result of the week-long snowfall, roads are closed and we cannot go to the city.
“My two-year-old child is very sick and doctors here want me to take him to the main provincial hospital for medical treatment. I have no idea what to do,” he added.
Mohammad Amir, a resident of Lala wa Sarjangal district, confirmed they could not evacuate their patients to health facilities due to heavy snowfall.
He told Pajhwok: “The roads are closed because of snow. We cannot take ailing children and elders to clinics. We want the government to address this serious issue; otherwise our patients will die.”
While some of residents complain about the lack of health services, social activists say the long winter, cold snap and impassible routes have blocked for 70 percent of residents access to health services.
Mohammad Reza Joya, a civil society activist, said: “The snowfall blocks most of roads every year. The government is responsible for ensuring the availability of health facilities and doctors in vulnerable areas. It should build more clinics in remote localities.”
Gull Ahmad Sahel, deputy director of public health, said: “All district clinics are operating and providing services to some extent. It is winter and there are some problems in inaccessible areas, but officials are still trying to provide the facilities it has to the people.”
Abdul Karim Abu Shoaib, director of public works, said their teams were busy working to clear roads of snow.