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WHO provide medical aid through Pakistan’s PIA flight in Afghanistan

August 31, 2021

According to the World Health Organization, a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying urgently needed medical supplies arrived in Afghanistan on Monday, the first such flight since the Taliban took control of the country two weeks ago. Hospitals and clinics in the war-torn country are rapidly running out of supplies, and a devastating attack at Kabul airport on Thursday has intricate aid delivery even more.

According to the WHO, the plane flew from Dubai to Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, holding 12.5 tons of supplies which will be provided to 40 healthcare facilities in 29 provinces all across the state. The supplies, which also include trauma and emergency kits, are sufficient to meet the basic needs of over 80 % of the population, perform 3,500 surgical techniques, and treat 6,500 trauma patients.

The regional director of WHO Ahmed Al-Mandhari said, “After days of continuous work to come up with a solution, we have been able to partially refill stocks of health facilities in Afghanistan”. He added, “Humanitarian organizations such as WHO have confronted immense challenges in recent days in trying to send life-saving supplies to Afghanistan due to security and logistic support barriers”. He also expressed gratitude to Pakistan for offering the Boeing 777 plane for the delivery.

The flight was among three planned designs with PIA, and the WHO stated that it is working to make sure that “this week’s shipment is the first of many.” Arshad Malik, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PIA, stated that it is the national flag’s “moral duty” to assist people in Afghanistan. He said in a comment “On the guidelines of the Pakistani government and the air transportation minister, PIA will persist humanitarian efforts”.

The WHO advised on Friday that Afghanistan may face severe shortage of healthcare staff because personnel are trying to flee the country and women health workers are planning to stay away from the office outside from fear. According to the WHO, there is only a week’s worth of medical supplies left in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban’s charging acquisition of Afghanistan, Kabul airport has been engulfed in turmoil.

Thousands have flocked towards the site in an urgent attempt to flee the country before the United States withdrawal timeline of August 31. Two suicide attackers did strike a crowd next to one of the airport’s main gates on Thursday, killing dozens of people, including 13 American service personnel.

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