Emergency Response Afghanistan
In October 2021 we launched our telemedicine programme in Ghor Province, an area that is especially affected by lack of healthcare access due to geographical and political considerations. In the winter months, roads from the urban centres or Kabul and Herat are blocked by snowfall, while weather also impedes travel between the provincial capital and smaller district towns and villages. This restricts movement of healthcare workers and medicine.
We have been responding to doctors in the region through our paediatric telemedicine programme since October 2021 which has significantly improved outcomes for their paediatric patients in triage and ongoing management of complex paediatric cases.
Our collaboration with various clinics and hospitals has shown that our programme empowers clinicians to deliver specialist healthcare to mothers and children left behind by a deeply compromised Afghan public health system.
Women face more significant obstacles when trying to access healthcare in comparison to men, mostly in terms of movement restrictions related to the long-standing socio-cultural practice known as the mahram which obliges women to be accompanied by a male relative when leaving home. This can impede their ability to reach a hospital – whether as patients, carers or humanitarian workers – in several ways. For example, when no male relative is available to accompany them.
Using our platform, local physicians can
safely triage and refer complex cases to healthcare specialists both locally and globally
eliminate geographical challenges, scaling up health services and capacity through mobile, virtual consultations
eliminate the need for unnecessary patient journeys to hospitals for costly diagnostics
make better informed decisions on the use of costly diagnostics and treatments in short supply, directing limited medical supplies to those patients who need it the most.