WHO concerned for Afghanistan healthcare

World Health Organization (WHO) voiced deep concern Friday over healthcare access in Afghanistan amid a sweeping Taliban offensive as US troops pull out of the war-torn country.

“It’s a terribly concerning situation, and it’s very fluid right now,” said Rick Brennan, the WHO emergencies director in the Eastern Mediterranean region. “We are clearly concerned about the decline in the access to healthcare,” he added, speaking to journalists in Geneva via video-link from Cairo.

His comments came as the Taliban on Friday claimed to be in control of 85 percent of Afghanistan, including a key border crossing with Iran, as US troops continued to withdraw.

Hours after US President Joe Biden issued a staunch defence of the withdrawal, the Taliban said fighters had seized the border town of Islam Qala — completing an arc of territory from the Iranian border to the frontier with China.

Brennan said a number of healthcare staff had left health facilities over security fears, but that some had also opted to return.


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