The Minister of Public Health, Ferozuddin Feroz at the Reaching the Last Mile forum at Louvre Abu Dhabi said there is a “missing generation” of women health workers in Afghanistan.
“In a conflict setting, working in a sector that is needed by everyone, it can be a frustration,” said Dr. Feroz, who was appointed deputy minister in 2002 and is one of the architects of Afghanistan’s health care system.
“I can see people do not have access to primary healthcare, people are dying from preventable diseases. When I can’t do anything, certainly I suffer,” he said.
The violence and insecurity in the country has meant armed conflict has become the third-highest cause of mortality with malaria, HIV/AIDS and drug addiction also pressing issues.
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“If you want to do everything, you cannot do it. We need to prioritize the needs. So I address the first things first, then the frustration goes down, But at the same time we are trying to build a system – address the priorities – do something that currently may not give us fruit, but certainly in the long-term will provide us with a lot of dividends,” he added.
Despite the challenges over the past two decades, there has been significant progress in healthcare in Afghanistan.
He said he was concerned that the current security troubles in the country meant some of the recent gains in healthcare may be reversed.