Civil society drives health improvements

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Afghanistan illustrates the vital role that civil society plays in providing basic health services in difficult circumstances

Afghanistan Progress report story 2011 thumb

© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-1078/Shehzad Noorani

As is the case in many fragile states, Afghanistan’s civil society organisations do much of the work of providing basic health services to the population.

Despite the fact that Afghanistan is still one of the world’s poorest countries, some of its basic health indicators have improved rapidly over the past decade. Immunisation coverage for DTP3 increased from 24% in 2000 to 66% in 2010. During the same period, child mortality dropped by over 10%. 

“We would never have succeeded in making this progress without close collaboration between the Afghan Government, the civil societies and communities. By working with CSOs at grass-root level, our work is owned by the people and sustained by the people,” says Afghanistan’s Minister of Health, Dr Suraya Dalil. 

US$ 80-100 billion

Investing in Gavi’s 2016-2020 strategy has the potential to deliver US$ 80-100 billion in costs averted related to illness, such as productivity loss due to death/disability, treatment costs, caretaker productivity loss and transport costs.

Stack M et al. Estimated economic benefits during Decade of Vaccines, Health Affairs 2011

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