While infection rates in Afghanistan at first appeared meagre in comparison to other States, the month of May saw an eight to ten-fold increase in confirmed cases of Covid-19.
The country's low testing capacity also indicates that the confirmed figures are only the tip of the iceberg.
Areas facing the highest infection rates remain population centres such as Kabul and Herat, as well as communities living towards the western border with Iran.
Already weakened by decades of war, the health services are now overwhelmed with this new crisis: "The country's health services have reached their maximum capacity in terms of patients", said the Afghan Minister of Health, Ahmad Jawad Osmani, in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde last week.
More than ever, the Afghan population is in need of support.
ACTED has been working over the past months to reduce the strain on Afghanistan’s limited health infrastructure. Our work includes:
• Wide scale mask production and distribution to front line government service providers.
• Awareness raising sessions in urban and remote rural areas to promote the kinds of hygiene practices which reduce infection rates.
• Integrating hygiene practices and social distancing into our life-saving programming in livelihoods, WASH, shelter etc.