Kandahar’s Mirwais Hospital struggles with bed shortage amid disease surge

Doctors at Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar are grappling with a severe bed shortage as the facility, one of only two public hospitals in the province, faces an influx of patients suffering from seasonal diseases.

Patients are being brought to Mirwais not only from Kandahar but also from neighboring provinces, exacerbating the strain on resources. In addition to the public hospitals Mirwais and Ainu Mina, five private hospitals operate in the region.

“We’re overwhelmed with urgent cases and forced to send less critical patients home with prescriptions due to the acute shortage of beds and facilities,” said Taj Mohammad, a pediatric specialist at Mirwais Hospital.

Families of patients have voiced concerns over inadequate care and a lack of essential medicines.

“We sought help in Qalat thrice without success and now face similar challenges here in Kandahar,” said Gulsoom, who traveled from Zabul with her son suffering from severe pneumonia.

Another parent, Malali, echoed these frustrations. After seeking treatment in Lashkargah and Sangin in Helmand for her son without improvement, she found limited facilities and substandard care in Kandahar.

Following the collapse of the previous government, Afghanistan’s health system has undergone significant changes. The World Health Organization has highlighted a critical funding shortfall, resulting in eight million Afghans losing access to essential healthcare.