UN health agency provides 430 tons of medical aid to Afghanistan

August 7th, 2010 - 3:05 am ICT by BNO News  

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) – The United Nations health agency on Friday conducted the largest-ever delivery of medicine and health supplies to Afghanistan, helping the country prepare to respond quickly to conflicts, disasters, and other likely humanitarian crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced.

Over 430 tons of materials are being provided to the Afghan public health ministry and its non-governmental organization (NGO) partners. The aid will be sufficient enough to cover the immediate health needs of 1 million people. “It’s about empowering local communities, civil society, and the government so they can ensure emergency health care for more Afghans and reduce loss of life and suffering associated with recurrent crises,” Peter Graaf, WHO representative for Afghanistan, said. “Countries and communities are the first responders to crises, and they, in turn, need the resources to respond immediately to risks in their communities.”

With the supplies, it will be possible to treat 1,000 major, and numerous minor, casualties. That includes 170,000 cases of potentially life threatening pneumonia and other respiratory disease that are endemic to the Afghan winter as well as 40,000 cases of life-threatening diarrheal disease. The WHO has obtained the equipment necessary to complete four intensive care units, which will be established inside existing hospitals for the benefit of remote and poorer communities.

The risk of floods are increasing for countries like Afghanistan, leaving Pakistan devastated, and spreading waterborne disease. At the request of the Afghan government, the WHO has provided enough supplies to cover the basic health needs of around 9,000 people.

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