• By The Financial District

Afghanistan Health Crisis Worsens Under The Taliban

For years, Dasht-e-Barchi State Hospital, popularly known as 100 Beds Hospital, was one of the busiest public health facilities in the Afghan capital, delivering thousands of babies each year.

Photo Insert: Midwives at Dasht-e-Barchi State Hospital assist a mother who has just given birth.

With substantial aid, staffing, and expertise provided by the international charity Medicines Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), it offered high-quality maternity care at nominal fees.

Today, 100 Beds is a subdued shadow of its former self, with the staff cut by two-thirds, some equipment inoperable, and patients’ families required to purchase medicines outside.

Last year, Doctors Without Borders withdrew its large local staff after a gruesome attack, Pamela Constable reported for the Washington Post on Oct. 21, 2021.

Since August, when Taliban militants took power in the country, conditions have deteriorated further. International donors suspended aid that had funded the bulk of public services in Afghanistan, concerned that the new rulers would severely curtail human rights. The hospital’s budget was slashed, and many staffers resigned.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

“We used to deliver 70 babies a day, but now we are down to less than 15. We used to have more than 100 midwives; now we have six,” said Atiqullah Kariq, the hospital director.

“We are trying our best, but without more international help, we cannot recover.” International donors and agencies have arranged several emergency measures. But hospitals are still turning patients away. Meanwhile, concerns remain over women’s access to adequate treatment under Taliban rule.

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