Afghanistan: Thousands deprived of basic health services in Kunar valley

Residents of Degal valley in the Dara-e-Pech district of eastern Kunar province in the east of the country face a lack of health services, depriving thousands of people of essential healthcare.

Degal Valley is home to around 4,000 families and the absence of adequate health facilities has exacerbated challenges faced by the local population.

“The Degal valley, located in the Dara-e-Pech district, is barren, and at least 4,000 families are living here. People here are deprived of health services. When they get sick, they either take them to Asadabad provincial hospital or to the district health center, where they often die on the way,” said Stana Gul, a resident.

Local residents have expressed deep concern about the unavailability of health services, highlighting that many patients lose their lives while being transferred to Asadabad Provincial Hospital, which is their only hope for receiving proper medical attention.

During the previous republican system, the Degal Valley remained neglected due to it being a Taliban stronghold, preventing any development projects from being implemented.

However, with the recent change in power dynamics, the responsibility now falls on the Taliban to address the pressing needs of the local population.

“In the previous republic, the government tried to implement the reconstruction work in this area with the contribution of international organizations, but there were conflicts and no organization tried to implement the projects here. Now that the Taliban are in power, we urge them to resolve this problem,” said Sedaqat, a resident of Degal Dara.

With numerous areas in Kunar facing similar challenges resulting from conflicts between the government and the Taliban during the previous government’s tenure, the hope is that the Taliban’s caretaker government will prioritize rebuilding efforts and providing people with health facilities.