Since the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, 3.5 to 4 million refugees have moved into Pakistan and Iran. Even before the war, the health status of the Afghans was extremely poor and the medical personnel limited. Various international efforts are attempting to cope with the health care needs of the refugees. Economic, language, and cultural problems hamper the projects. One clinic found the most common problems were of the gastrointestinal tract, then the respiratory tract, with a problem ranking similar to that of pre-war Afghanistan. Many of the health problems are linked to deficiencies in sanitation and nutrition.