Hospitals are collapsing in Afghanistan. At this rate sanctions will kill more people than the Taliban

Paul Spiegel is the director of the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. These views are his own and do not represent any organization.

There are more epidemics in Afghanistan than fully functional covid-19 hospitals. Like almost every other place in the world, Afghans have been battling covid-19, but they also must cope with epidemics of measles, polio, dengue, malaria and cholera while their health-care system is on the verge of collapse.

After spending five weeks in Afghanistan working as a consultant for the World Health Organization on an emergency surge team, I can clearly state that if the United States and other Western governments do not change their Afghanistan sanction policies, more Afghans will die from sanctions than at the hands of the Taliban.


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