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As the war in Afghanistan shows no signs of abating, the health of the people in the country continues to be cause for concern. Afghanistan's health care system is considered one of the worst in the world, and decades of war and international neglect have contributed to its deterioration. An estimated 6 million people, out of a population of 35 million, have no access or inadequate access to health care.According to the World Health Organization, diseases controlled in most countries in the world continue to cause deaths and disabilities in Afghanistan. For example, it has been estimated that approximately 60 percent of all childhood deaths and disabilities in Afghanistan are due to respiratory and intestinal infections and vaccine-preventable deaths, particularly measles, of which there are approximately 35,000 cases every year.Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined nations in the world.Cesar Chelala is an independent international public health consultant. He has written extensively on public health issues throughout the world.
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