At least 1 million children under 5 in Afghanistan may die of malnutrition – WHO

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At least one million children under five in Afghanistan are running the risk of dying of malnutrition without immediate treatment, World Health Organization, WHO, Spokesperson Margaret Harris said on Friday and called for international humanitarian assistance to that country.

"Malnutrition continues to be a growing health challenge across Afghanistan. An estimated 3.2 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year. At least 1 million of these children are at risk of dying due to severe acute malnutrition, without immediate treatment," she said.

She also drew attention to the measles outbreak in Afghanistan in 2021 and noted that "for malnourished children, measles is a death sentence." "Since January 2021 there have been more than 24,000 clinical measles cases, 2,397 laboratory confirmed cases of measles and 87 deaths reported,’ she noted.

Harris called on the world community to help those in need in Afghanistan.

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. By early September, US troops ended their 20-year presence in Afghanistan and left that province. (TASS)

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