The Afghan-Japan Hospital, the only active center treating COVID-19 patients in Kabul, will be closed if the medical staff does not receive five months' worth of unpaid wages within the week, officials of the hospital said.
Officials and medical staff members of the Afghan-Japan Hospital began their strike on Tuesday, claiming the hospital faces a lack of medicine and medical equipment and the government has not paid their salaries for the past five months.
They urged health officials (Ministry of Public Health) to provide medicine and equipment and take steps toward paying salaries; otherwise, the strike will continue.
“It has been five months that medical staff have not received salaries, in addition, the hospital lacks medical equipment like medicine and oxygen,” said Sabauddin, a doctor.
Another doctor at the Afghan-Japan hospital, Majid, said: “How can we serve our patients if there is no salary. The hospital will be shut down, our voices are not heard and answered.”
According to the officials at the hospital, the number of COVID-19 patients is on the rise. “We ask the WHO to provide financial support for hospitals. The coronavirus is increasing, and our hospital faces a lack of medicine and equipment,” said Wali Mohammad Wali, a doctor.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Public Health reported that at least 37 centers of COVID-19 have closed and the World Bank has cut off aid to Afghanistan.
“The World Bank had a contract with Afghanistan up to 2024, but after recent events the World Bank cut off aid and COVID-19 centers closed,” said Abdul Bari Omar, a deputy minister of public health.
The Ministry of Public Health announced that 600 COVID-19 patients were registered across Afghanistan during one month and 30 of the patients died of the virus.