College statement on the situation in Afghanistan

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is concerned by the emerging humanitarian challenges in Afghanistan and supports the World Health Organisation’s call to support healthcare in the country at this time.

As a health charity, we are eager to ensure that access to healthcare is maintained in Afghanistan. It is vital that medical teams have the support and freedoms they require to continue treating those in need of care, particularly amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The College understands that over 2 million Afghan refugees are already living in neighbouring Iran and Pakistan, and there is little doubt that the entire region will face challenges in the delivery of healthcare that will require swift, extensive and coordinated international support.

As it stands, medical and humanitarian teams in Afghanistan are faced with the prospect of further strain on their resources and personnel. While neighbouring countries may have an immediate role during the refugee crisis, we would urge the international community to urgently provide the resources needed to help manage this – ranging from medical personnel, to food and water supplies, to life-saving equipment and medicines.

We would encourage our own Fellows and Members, particularly in countries which neighbour Afghanistan, to do what they can to support the healthcare needs and welfare of refugees at this time. If there is anything that the College can do to support you, please get in touch.

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658