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From the World Health Organization
May 8, 2002

Afghanistan: Rebuilding a Health System

JAMA. 2002;287(18):2354. doi:10.1001/jama.287.18.2354

Afghanistan has suffered through 23 years of conflict and political instability, mass population displacement, and human rights abuses, as well as 3 years of severe drought, with an anticipated fourth year. Even as I write this, the country is still in a state of conflict. Given this sad history, it is not surprising that the health and human development indicators in Afghanistan are among the worst in the world.

Efforts to improve the health of all Afghan people are an essential part of national reconstruction, and supporting the reconstruction of the health sector is a priority for WHO. Investing in health can be the foundation of a country's social and economic development, for without a strong health care system and a healthy, productive population, men and women cannot fully participate in productive economic activities.

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