In May 2023, my grandfather endured excruciating urinary bladder pain. Seeking treatment, he traveled to Torkham, intending to cross the border into Pakistan. Unfortunately, despite his deteriorating condition, security personnel at the border denied him passage, demanding documents he did not possess. Helplessly, he returned home, and his hope for relief shattered.
One might wonder, why Afghans seek medical treatment in neighboring countries. Are there no competent doctors in Afghanistan?
Regrettably, healthcare resources in the country are limited, particularly in rural areas where access to healthcare centers is scarce or nonexistent. Even in cities, healthcare facilities are few, and the expertise of many doctors is questionable.
Diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases pose significant challenges due to the lack of advanced medical equipment and limited knowledge among practitioners. Consequently, countless lives are lost to treatable conditions, burdening families with unfulfilled wishes forever.
Additionally, the prevalence of counterfeit medicines exacerbates the struggle for recovery. In Afghanistan, patients often encounter ineffective drugs that neither cure nor harm. To find solace, they consume multiple packets, enduring unnecessary financial burdens. Such deception raises ethical concerns. How can those who deceive others under the guise of medicine claim to be true Muslims?
Poverty further compounds the healthcare crisis in Afghanistan. When families struggle to feed themselves, accessing quality healthcare becomes a distant dream. In a country where resources are scarce, it is vital for the government to establish more hospitals, both in urban and rural areas, and ensure the presence of competent medical professionals.
Equipping doctors with the necessary tools and technologies is crucial to enhancing diagnostic capabilities and treatment outcomes.
Furthermore, it is a plea to the international community to extend assistance at the borders, transcending identities and ethnicities. Treating patients based on the principles of humanity should be a universal endeavor.