Iran’s Health Ministry has voiced readiness to provide Afghan refugees, who live in Iran, with healthcare services in cooperation with national and international institutions, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on November 15.
In a meeting at the Presidential Office, officials from the Ministry of Health, Foreign Ministry, Planning and Budget Organization, Iran Health Insurance Organization, Red Crescent Society and the Presidential Office itself compared notes on how healthcare services can be offered to Afghan immigrants and refugees.
Political instability and security woes gripping Afghanistan, over the past decades, turned Iran into one of the countries that house the largest number of refugees. The failure of the international community to maintain and shore up peace and sustainable security is one of the core reasons behind a rise in migration and subsequent failure of migrants to return to Afghanistan.
Given the sporadic distribution of Afghan immigrants and refugees in different urban and rural areas of Iran, one of the gravest challenges they face is the lack of access to proper healthcare services. Such an issue also poses a serious threat to the country’s health system and can leave a vacuum in the national health system when it comes to prevention and control of contagious diseases.
At the meeting, the vulnerability of refugees, inefficiency of complementary insurances and the need for prevention of any disruption to the national health system were discussed. Also, ways of keeping contagious diseases away from Iran’s borders, identifying and treating those suffering from refractory diseases and providing basic healthcare packages for refugees, immigrants and those who legally cross the Iran-Afghanistan border came up for discussion.
It was decided that in line with its objective and commitment to implement the National Health Transformation Plan, the Health Ministry tap into national and international resources to create basic healthcare packages for Afghan nationals.