Afghan-Japanese hospital faces lack of equipment, medicine

Health services at the Afghan-Japanese Hospital, the only active hospital for treating COVID-19 patients in the country, are declining as winter approaches, hospital officials said.

Hospital officials say the number of people infected with COVID-19 is likely to increase as winter approaches and the hospital does not have enough equipment and drugs to provide services to patients.

Officials say if the hospital does not receive the necessary supplies, it will face serious challenges in the winter.

“The contract between the Afghan-Japan hospital and Health-Net was a six-month contract which is about to end,” said Zalmai Raishtin, director of the Afghan-Japan hospital.

“We are facing shortages of medicines and health equipment at the hospital, and we are running out of fuel for the oxygen machines,” said Miranai Baratzai, chief of the emergency department at the Afghan-Japanese hospital.

Hospital officials say hospital workers haven’t received a salary for a few months.

Meanwhile, a number of patent family members at the hospital have said they have to buy drugs from private pharmacies because the hospital is running out of drugs.

They also said the price of drugs had increased.

“The price of a packet of drugs has reached 200 Afs to 300 Afs,” said Ali Yawar, a resident of Daikundi province whose wife has been in hospital for over a month.

“There are no more drugs in the hospital, we are buying drugs from outside,” said Reza Mahdiyar, another family member of a patient.

Despite concerns over the deteriorating situation of the country’s health system, so far no significant practical action has been taken by the international community and international health organizations to address the challenges.

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