The US/NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan has coincided with an increase in violence that is crippling the country’s health system—just as the Delta variant is driving a third wave of infections.
Many health facilities caught in the crossfire have been forced to shutter; others are packed with both COVID-19 patients and war casualties.
- Oxygen and vaccine supplies have been obliterated by rockets.
- Taliban checkpoints hold up traffic as patients try to reach hospitals.
Hospital leaders have appealed for a cease-fire between Taliban and government forces so health workers can reach hard-hit communities. But if warring factions can’t reach a settlement, “no matter who wins the war, we will all lose to Covid,” said physician Navid Atal.