Over 50,000 people infected with Tuberculosis in 2021: Officials

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The Ministry of Public Health on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day said that in 2021 nearly 600,000 people in Afghanistan were infected with tuberculosis. Officials at the ministry said that with the increase of tuberculosis treatment centers in the country, the number of cases of this disease has increased by 10% compared to last year.

“Right now, based on statistics, the number of people infected with tuberculosis is 50,710, which is a 10% increase over last year,” said Noor Agha Zayed, head of the tuberculosis awareness department.

According to the Ministry of Public Health officials, there are 852 free tuberculosis treatment centers across the country and the ministry is calling on international organizations to assist Afghanistan in the fight against the disease. “We call on the international community to work with the Ministry of Health to fight tuberculosis,” said Bismillah Khan, director of tuberculosis control at the Ministry of Public Health.

Meanwhile, doctors say that if this disease is not diagnosed and treated, it is fatal. “We have started new plans and we have plans to address last year’s challenges,” said Khan Mohammad Mangal, head of the tuberculosis control center at the Ministry of Public Health.

“Children get the disease because of malnutrition, migration and parental neglect,” said Naimullah, a doctor.

According to statistics of the Ministry of Public Health, the rate of tuberculosis treatment in Afghanistan has now increased to 95%, which has led to a reduction in deaths from the disease in the country.

Meanwhile, at least seven children have lost their lives as a result of an “unknown diseases” in a village of Ghazni’s Nawur district in the country’s central-east parts of the country in the last two days, local official said.

The disease has permeated the Bed village in the district and so far has killed two children, said Khaliqdad Akbari, head of Ghazni Provincial Council.

He said the disease has so far infected at least 40 children.

Akbari added that roads to the district are closed due to heavy snowfalls.

He stated that more children will lose their lives if the Ministry of Public Health does not provide emergency aid to the affected areas by helicopters.

Meanwhile, a number of local residents said major symptoms of the disease include breathing problems, pneumonia and abdominal pains. The residents urged the relevant organizations to help them and save the village from the disease.

Health officials and doctors stated that unemployment and poverty are the main reasons for the surge of malnourished children in Afghanistan.

Suhrab, 2, is suffering from malnutrition. Suhrab’s mother said her husband is unemployed and they cannot afford enough food for their children. “We do not have the financial capability to treat him. He has been suffering from malnutrition for more than two years,” said Suhrab’s mother.

Meanwhile, officials at the Indira Gandhi (Sehat-e-Tefl) hospital said that around 60 malnourished children are brought into the hospital per month for treatment.

“Many of our patients are suffering from severe malnutrition. In additional to malnutrition, they suffer from other illnesses too,” said Dr. Mohammad Aref Hassanzai, a doctor at the hospital.

Based on the findings of the Ministry of Health, more than 2,600,000 children were registered in the last three years in Afghanistan who were suffering from malnutrition.

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