Health officials in Badakhshan province said the number of malnourished children has increased. Ahmad Jawid Mohebi, head of the malnutrition department of the Taliban’s public health department for Badakhshan province, told Hasht-e Subh that due to poverty and hunger, the number of malnourished children in Badakhshan had increased about 1.5 times compared to previous years. Mohebi added that the major causes of malnutrition include poverty, food insecurity, low literacy, poor cleanliness, and poor access to health services due to geographical hardships. The head of the malnutrition department of the Badakhshan Public Health Department noted that a total of 1,122 severely malnourished children under the age of five were treated last year.
“With the fall of the regime, the situation has become difficult for the people,” Abdul Wadood Ziaei, head of the Kunderberg Institute, which works in the malnutrition sector in Badakhshan, told Hasht-e Subh. “We work in several sectors, but our main focus is on malnourished children; children with moderate malnutrition, and those who did not hospitalize at the provincial hospital. If the hospital does not accept them, we will treat them.” Ziaee added that every fourteen days, they have to treat 25 children.
“We treat patients with a variety of fruits and foods; Such as porridge, milk lactogen, food menu, apples, banana and so on. For fourteen days, our healthcare staff and midwives care for them. We weigh children at the beginning and after treatment to find out how to treat them. Our food is all-natural and, there will be improvements in their situation soon.”
According to Ziaei, the institute has identified more than 700 malnourished children in 20 days. “We are trying to treat these children step by step,” said the head of the Kunderberg Institute. “Apart from children, we also care for and treat pregnant women and malnourished women.”
Sheba, the mother of a child with malnutrition, is from Sarun village, Yaftal district. “I have been suffering from malnutrition for five months,” Sheba told Hasht-e Subh. “I have been kept in this center for 13 days. Here they feed the babies milk, cakes, apples, and other fruits and food. My baby’s condition was bad at first. They kept him in this place, they took him to the doctor, they took medicine, now his condition is much better.” She added that her husband is unemployed, and their living condition is not good financially.
Parwana, a resident of Faizabad, is another mother who brought her child to the center for treatment. “My child has been cared for at this center for 14 days and, we will leave tomorrow,” she said. “When I first brought my baby, he was severely malnourished and thin. His condition has improved in these 14 days. At first, he could not chat, but now he has been chatting for a few days. He has been hospitalized in Faizabad Hospital for about two or three months. They gave milk and medicine there, and they give milk and food here.”
She added that her husband had served in the former government’s national army, but is now unemployed.
With the Taliban taking control of the country, poverty and unemployment have risen unprecedentedly.
According to international aid agencies, about 97 percent of Afghans are currently at risk of poverty, and about 90 percent of Afghans do not have access to adequate food.