WHO boosts health response after Afghanistan quake

Geneva, June 27: The World Health Organization (WHO) has said surveillance of infectious diseases in the earthquake-hit areas of Afghanistan has been increased following warnings by local authorities that the survivors are at risk of disease.
VOA News quoted Afghan officials as saying that at least 1,150 people were killed, many more were injured, and thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed in Wednesday’s powerful quake that struck the southeastern Afghan provinces of Paktika and Khost, which some of the poorest and remotest mountainous areas near the Pakistani border.
The latest UN findings on Sunday have revealed that at least 155 children were among those killed and 250 children were injured by the earthquake. The disaster has left 65 orphaned or unaccompanied.
In response to Afghan health officials request for help for food and medicine amid the risk of infectious diseases, the WHO said, “WHO is increasing surveillance of infectious diseases such as acute watery diarrhea, measles, and COVID-19 by deploying disease surveillance and control officers and distributing medicines and supplies to health facilities in anticipation of an increase in cases.”
The statement noted that Afghanistan is one of the two remaining polio-endemic countries in the world, along with Pakistan, and polio staff are also contributing to relief efforts and supporting surveillance for other infectious diseases, VOA News reported.