UN working to strengthen health infrastructure in Bamyan

22 Mar 2016

UN working to strengthen health infrastructure in Bamyan

Bamyan - United Nations support for improved health services in Bamyan is part of the world body’s efforts to improve the lives of Afghans by supporting the country’s development initiatives.

At the same time, in light of attacks on access to healthcare facilities, UNAMA has reminded all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan of their obligation to always respect the provision of healthcare, never to harm medical personnel or patients, and to ensure that the protected status of medical facilities is respected.

In the latest show of support, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) provided medical equipment to the provincial public health department in Bamyan and also will provide training on its use. Designed to reduce mother and child mortality, the equipment includes incubators, baby warmers, defibrillators, sterilizers, ventilators, electrosurgical and cardiograph machines. 

Min-Whee Kang, Head of UNICEF’s central region field office, said the equipment -- which will be used in the provincial hospital and three district hospitals in remote areas of the province – is key to saving lives in critical cases.

“We hope to see a gradual improvement of survival rates and a decline in mortality rates of new born and mothers,” said Ms. Kang.

The continuing conflict in Afghanistan has meant, however, that Afghan access to healthcare has been jeopardized. Two recent incidents -- in Parwan and Wardak provinces – resulted in deaths and injuries.

In a statement, Mark Bowden, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator and the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, said medical facilities, medical personnel, and those who are receiving treatment, for disease or conflict-related injuries, must never be placed at risk, let alone subject to attack.

“The work that humanitarian and medical personnel carry out must not be restricted, and all parties to the conflict must abstain from actions that may place these persons or facilities at risk,” said the UN envoy.

UNICEF -- the United Nations Children’s Fund -- promotes the rights of children and women, and works to bring basic services, including education, health, nutrition, protection, water and sanitation and hygiene to those who are most in need.

UNAMA is mandated by the Security Council to lead and coordinate international civilian efforts in assisting Afghanistan, guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership. UNAMA also supports the process of peace and reconciliation, and promotes human rights, in particular those regarding the full enjoyment by women of their human rights.

UNICEF and UNAMA are part of the UN family in Afghanistan. More than 20 different UN entities are present in the country, working to support the Afghan government’s priorities through a broad spectrum of development and humanitarian activities, including through support for development planning, resource mobilization, and coordination of international donors and organizations.