HI continues to assist the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan
As the security situation in Afghanistan worsens, the country is also battling its third wave of Covid-19.
HI is doing awareness activities to inform Afghan population about Covid-19 risks and ways to get protected | © HI
More than 144,000 people have been infected since 2020. Since many people do not have access to health centres, the number may be higher. Herat, Kabul, Nangarhar, Daikundi and Ghazni appear to be the worst-affected provinces.
Since 2020, HI has adapted its activities in Afghanistan to continue assisting the most vulnerable people.
Raising awareness of the risks of contamination
HI provides the local population, particularly people with disabilities, internally displaced people, and host communities, with information on the risk of infection with Covid-19 and how to protect themselves by social distancing, wearing a mask, etc. These awareness-raising activities are particularly important in a country where rumours about the epidemic continue to circulate, such as drinking or washing your face with Coca-Cola or drinking black tea as a cure for Covid-19. HI has conveyed key messages through radio broadcasts, door-to-door outreach, and the like, in order to the raise awareness of the most vulnerable people such as internally displaced persons and host communities, in the communities of Kandahar, Nimroz and Herat.
Continuing to provide rehabilitation care
HI has continued to provide physiotherapy to patients in need at the Kandahar rehabilitation centre, and its mobile teams have made at-homes visits in camps for internally displaced people, particularly in Herat and Kandahar provinces. In 2020, more than 17,000 people benefited from rehabilitation care, and in 2021, the organisation trained 120 physiotherapists.
The epidemic has left many people feeling depressed or useless following the loss of their job, or destabilised by family conflicts, etc. HI’s teams provided psychosocial support to people who needed it, including by setting up a hotline. The organisation has also distributed ‘leisure’ kits to these psychologically fragile people containing beads or sewing and knitting equipment, and games for children such as puzzles, books etc., so they can have fun, immerse themselves in a practical activity, and regain some peace of mind. The organisation has also trained medical centre teams in psychosocial first aid.
HI continued to provide psychosocial support to people psychologically affected by the conflict or other traumatic events, including Afghan refugees previously living in Pakistan who have been sent back to Afghanistan. In 2020, HI provided psychosocial support to nearly 6,000 people.
Distribution of gel, soap and masks
The organisation also distributed protection and hygiene kits containing soap, hydroalcoholic gel, etc. to a large number of people who could not afford to buy them. Moreover, the organisation plans to distribute 200 kits containing clothes, blankets and so on to the most vulnerable people such as widows, people with disabilities and internally displaced people with few means of subsistence.
Referral of patients to other services
HI also referred people in need of other services such as health care and protection to other organisations able to offer them appropriate support.
More broadly, in 2020 and 2021, HI continued to assist victims of the conflict in Afghanistan by providing them with rehabilitation sessions, psychosocial support and mine risk education, along with assistance to conflict victims.