Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced that he met with Taliban Health Minister Qalander Ebad to address Afghanistan’s “dire” health and humanitarian challenges.
Ghebreyesus, according to Khaama Press, revealed that the meeting took place on Tuesday in Geneva.
Ebad is part of a Taliban delegation visiting Geneva for a week of discussions with institutions and non-governmental organisations on humanitarian access and human rights as Afghanistan’s new authorities extend their international role.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August of last year, the country has descended into financial chaos, with inflation and unemployment skyrocketing, while the cessation of aid and US sanctions has resulted in a humanitarian disaster in a country already devastated by decades of conflict. Tedros had previously seen Ebad on his visit to Kabul after the Taliban took power in September 2021.
“Despite small progress since then, Afghanistan’s health condition remains dismal, and the grave humanitarian crisis continues to endanger lives”, Tedros said at a meeting with the health minister in Geneva.
He added that they addressed the country’s health needs, system building, disaster preparedness, and health professional education, with an emphasis on women.
“There is an urgent need in Afghanistan to provide diagnostics for the Covid-19 virus, specifically Omicron, because the number of patients is growing”, Tedros noted.