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Status: Completed

“The Ministry of Public Health has made courageous decisions, adopted forward-looking policies that are innovative and appropriate for the post-conflict setting, and been unusually assertive in insisting that its objectives and targets be met.”
AREU has researched Afghanistan’s developing healthcare system and issues relating to substance abuse.
In the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Taleban, the country’s healthcare system was found to be in a state of disarray. A dearth of infrastructure and trained staff was compounded by minimal government capacity and a lack of coordination among disparate actors. By the end of 2006, this situation had reversed to one of substantial, if fragile, progress. Using a contract-based system to implement a series of clear guidelines, a dynamic Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) was able to deliver wide-ranging improvements to the healthcare sector. However, Afghanistan remains faced with a series of imposing public health challenges. Drug addiction remains a serious problem, including the widespread and overlooked abuse of licit, psychotropic substances such as painkillers.

Publications from this research project:

Afghanistan’s Hidden Drug Problem: The Misuse of Psychotropics

Afghanistan has gained notoriety as the world’s leading producer of opium and heroin, but less well known is that it also has an increasing number of problem drug users. While popular perceptions of drug misuse and dependency in the country Read More

The Public Health System in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s health system was in a state of near-total disrepair in 2002. This briefing paper outlined the major issues facing the public health sector, discussed the roles of government, United Nations (UN) agencies, donors, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and made Read More