Treating an influx of malnourished children in Herat, Afghanistan

Afghanistan 2021 © Sandra Calligaro/MSF

The health system in Afghanistan took a massive blow when international aid was halted in August after the takeover of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, also known as the Taliban. Already struggling, many health facilities became unable to pay staff or keep programs functioning, forcing them to reduce their activities or shut down completely. Lack of access to health care, an economic downturn, ongoing drought, and other factors have caused enormous suffering. In Herat, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has seen a sharp increase in severely malnourished patients at its therapeutic feeding center. “The occupancy rate of our beds has been extremely high for months now, above 145 percent,” said MSF Nurse Activity Manager Julie Faucon. “Often, patients’ mothers come to us explaining that they’re struggling to find food and access to health care."

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