The number of health-related deaths due to the closure of borders and suspension of air travels have increased, said Wahid Majrooh, deputy Minister of Public Health (MoPH). The lockdown measures were announced to check the spread of Coronavirus.
Majrooh urged medical professionals to not ignore people suffering from other acute illnesses and continue to provide basic services.
He revealed that the MoPH had identified a team within the elites of Afghan medical professionals, to lead open heart surgeries in the country. They were currently in the process of equipping them with the appropriate technical and material resources. If all arrangements happen on time, the first open heart surgery could be scheduled within the next three days, Majrooh revealed
The MoPH will also be sharing these plans with other Afghan leaders.
“In addition to being a challenge, Coronavirus is an opportunity to take the initiative and do what needs to be done first,” Majrooh stressed.
Prior to the outbreak of Coronavirus, sick Afghans who needed super-specialized health services went to Pakistan, India or Iran for treatment. However, with international borders closed, people with acute illnesses were stuck without treatment.
Afghanistan does not have appropriate medical infrastructure to provide specialized care and with the addition of COVID-19 patients, doctors are struggling to handle their caseloads, leading to a rising number of deaths of patients in need of subspecialty health services.
The first open-heart surgery in Balkh
Last week, cardiologists performed Balkh’s first open-heart surgery at the Abu Ali Sina-e-Balkhi Regional and Training Hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif.
The 45-year-old patient was a Pakistani national who was suffering from a heart perforation. Doctors removed the blood around his heart and repaired the hole. They transplanted new blood vessels from different parts of the body to his heart.
The patient was in a stable condition.