Rebuilding the health care system in Afghanistan: an overview of primary care and emergency services

Int J Emerg Med. 2009 Jun 5;2(2):77-82. doi: 10.1007/s12245-009-0106-y.


Developing nations have many challenges to the growth of emergency medical systems. This development in Afghanistan is also complicated by many factors that plague post-conflict countries including an unstable political system, poor economy, poor baseline health indices, and ongoing violence. Progress has been made in Afghanistan with the implementation of the Basic Package of Health Service (BPHS) by the Ministry of Public Health in an effort to provide healthcare that would have the most cost-effective impact on common health problems. Trauma and trauma-related disability were both identified as priorities under the BPHS, and efforts have begun to address these problems. Most of the emergency care delivered in Afghanistan is provided by the military sector and non-governmental organizations. Security, lack of infrastructure, economic hardship, difficult access to healthcare facilities, poor healthcare facility conditions, and lack of trained healthcare providers, especially women, are all problems that need to be addressed. The long-term goal of quality healthcare for all Afghan citizens will only be met by a combination of specific goal-oriented projects, foreign aid, domestic responsibility, and time.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Emergency medical services; Emergency medicine; Health care.