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Last Update: 1 Day and 17 Hour and 29 Minute ago
News code: 28351
Published Date: Monday 7 October 2019 - 15:59:59
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HRW: Most Afghans have no access to mental health

HRW: Most Afghans have no access to mental health
World  - Human Rights Watch criticized the Afghan government for proving poor psychologically, socially or psychologically sufficient support for Afghans who have experienced traumatic events.

Many survivors of conflict-related violence are struggling with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder; however, based on government documents only a limited few have adequate psychosocial support.

The HR organization called on the Afghan government and international donors to expand mental health services.

"There is an urgent need for expanded psychosocial services to support Afghans exposed to violence, suicide bombings, and airstrikes, and prevent the long-term effects that can be debilitating to survivors, families, and entire communities," said Jonathan Pedneault, conflict and crisis researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Forty-one years of war have had a devastating impact on the mental health of millions of Afghans. A 2018 European Union survey found that 85 percent of the Afghan population had experienced or witnessed at least one traumatic event, and averaged four. Half of those surveyed had experienced psychological distress, with one in five Afghans "impaired in his or her role because of mental health problems."

The government spends only US$7 per capita on health services annually, far below the $30 to $40 that the United Nations Commission on Macroeconomics and Health considered appropriate in 2001, says HRW.

With large parts of the country facing armed conflict, a weak health system, and a lack of professional health and social workers, mental health services are largely failing to meet the population's needs. People in rural areas, about 75 percent of the population, are particularly affected. Discriminatory social norms create extra barriers for women and girls.

"The Afghan government has an obligation under international human rights law to move toward the highest attainable standard of health, including mental health, to the maximum of its available resources and on the basis of informed consent," the organization noted. "All parties to the conflict, including the Taliban insurgents, are responsible in the areas they control for the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of health care, and to facilitate humanitarian aid."

 

 

News Code: 28351
Published Date: Monday 7 October 2019 - 15:59:59
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