To help frontline workers better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), flew in emergency health supplies to Kabul on Tuesday.
The shipment consists of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for frontline health workers, who are at high risk of being infected with the virus.
Official figures show 20,917 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Afghanistan, of which 1,336 (6%) are health care providers. In order to ensure continuity of essential health services, the protection of health care providers in the execution of their duties, is critical.
This is part of the World Bank financed COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.
Ahmad Jawad Osmani, acting minister of public health, welcomed the support as Afghanistan prepares for the peak of viral infection cases.
“This shipment is crucial for Afghanistan, especially that we cannot combat and overcome this virus alone,” said Osmani.
The shipment includes 150,000 PPEs to be used by 6,821 frontline health care providers over the next six months. This will allow health care providers to scale up the identification and management of up to 10,000 hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
Since the start of the outbreak, UNICEF has invested over US$2.5 million in the country’s pandemic response.