Despite improvements over the past 15 years, the availability, access and quality of health services continue to face serious challenges throughout Afghanistan. An estimated 9 million Afghans are still without access to basic health facilities. When available, infrastructures are understaffed and often inadequate to meet health needs of service users, and there are reports of chronic shortages of quality medicine. Women in particular are disproportionately affected by the lack of skilled female health professionals and specialized services for pre and post maternal care, obstetrics and gynecology. While decades of conflict and displacement have had traumatic consequences for much of the population, psychological and psychiatric health services are seriously lacking, as are drug addiction treatments and assistance to drug addicts. Rising insecurity in many parts of the country, recent and protracted displacement of millions of Afghans, have further impaired access and availability of health services.
As for other services, corruption in access to quality health services and medicine aggravates the situation of the most vulnerable, with evidence of payment of bribes to secure appointments, access to hospital beds, and higher quality services in general.
While the National Health Policy for 2015-2020 provides a framework for improved access for Afghan citizens throughout the country, there is a need for continuous monitoring of its implementation, and assessment of evolutions in the operating environment that may affect programming. The mandate of the Health sub-committee is to facilitate evidence-based advocacy by civil society to inform government policy making and implementation on health