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Editorial

Pandemic and Taliban behind increasing Afghan miseries

Afghan health authorities on Saturday warned of surging cases of mucormycotic, also known as “black fungus,” among coronavirus patients as the country grapples with a shortage of vaccines and medical oxygen as well as Taliban’s militancy taking lives of the innocent people in each and every corner of the country.
Acting Health Minister Waheed Majorh said that health professionals had identified at least three confirmed cases of the fungal infection caused by exposure to mucor mound, commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables. The condition mainly affects people who have a weak immune system causing loss of eyesight, removal of the nose and jawbone.
Underlining that official were using all available means to procure and purchase vaccines, Majorh said that low output of jabs and little competition among producers has made it difficult for Afghanistan to procure vaccines in the open market.
Amid increasing Taliban violence, the COVID-19 and now the black Fungus have added to the miseries of Afghan masses. Not only war and violence that have displaced thousands of Afghans in different provinces, but the pandemic has too already affected Afghan people’s economic and social lives and taking dozens of lives on daily basis.
Thousands of schools have been closed due to Taliban’s violence in northern provinces and meanwhile the COVID-19 has too forced government to shut schools before millions of Afghan students. The militants and the pandemic have been creating obstacles before the development process of the country.
Pandemics strike hard in conflict zones by overwhelming the already weak public health systems, destabilizing the country further. At the same time, in the case of COVID-19, there were also hopes that the virus may prompt opposing groups to suspend hostilities and work together when UN Secretary-General António Guterres once urged armed parties to stop fighting and called for an international ceasefire on March 23, 2020.
While some rebel groups in the Philippines and Colombia suspended hostilities, they returned to violence shortly thereafter, but some others, including Taliban increased their attacks and brought about huge challenges for the health systems to tackle the global pandemic.
Despite substantial improvements in the health sector and vast investments in the form of international aid, all of the various Afghan governments have struggled to provide basic healthcare services to the public. The country continues to be riven with infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, polio, measles, rabies and typhoid fever. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a greater strain on the country’s healthcare system. The return of Afghans from Iran, series of lethal attacks on healthcare workers and civilians and increasing insecurity has made the situation worse.
The strong opposition by religious fundamentalists in countries such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan have resulted in the failure of vaccination efforts against polio in the past. As a result, polio has been eradicated in most countries except for Pakistan and Afghanistan. Taliban have time and again prevent implementation of Polio vaccination drive in their held territories.
As per UN demand, Taliban and other militants should do more to ease treatment opportunities for the local people and avoid targeting health centers and public properties. As this pandemic era that taking lives of dozens of people in the country, Taliban should shun violence and ease a safe and sound environment for Afghans so that to fight pandemic, poverty, drought and economic challenges.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan news, us, China & World News.