The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said the number of patients diagnosed with cancer has increased in state hospitals, saying that 13,500 patients diagnosed with cancer have been recorded since the beginning of the 1400 solar year.
According to health officials, health care services are deteriorating every day as state hospitals face the lack of medicine and medical equipment.
Officials at the Jamhuriat hospital, a state-owned hospital, said that not only the patients suffering from cancer, but the total number of patients visiting the hospital, has increased as the Afghan families could not afford to go to private hospitals.
They urged the World Health Organization (WHO) and other supporting agencies to assist Afghanistan’s health centers and hospitals.
“We do not have enough medicine for all the patients, we give some medicine to the patients who go into surgery,” said Mohammad Essa Ibrahimi, head of the cancer treatment program at Jamhuriat hospital.
Roqaya, 19, has been diagnosed with cancer. She came to Jamhuriat hospital from Logar province. “My family borrowed money to buy me medicine, we have spent 13,000 Afghanis that we borrowed, I do not know how my family will find money for the next amount of medicine,” Roqaya told TOLOnews.
While government hospitals face many challenges, most of the patients who are suffering from cancer are concerned about paying for their treatment.
“Hospitals were giving medicine for free in the past, but there is no free medicine anymore, we buy it from outside,” said Mah Gul.
The total number of patients diagnosed with cancer was 13 500 for the current solar year, 60% of the patients are female and 40% are male.
Findings of the MoPH show that the most frequent cancer among Afghans is breast cancer for women and oesophagus cancer for men.