KABUL: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday delivered around 23 metric tonnes of life-saving medicines and supplies to Afghanistan, the United Nations health agency said.

The shipment, which is among the first humanitarian aid to arrive at Kabul airport since operations were disrupted on Aug 15, was flown by a Qatar Airways flight donated by the Qatari government, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported, quoting a WHO statement.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (pix) thanked the Qatari government for its generous and timely support, which has allowed WHO to replenish depleted stocks and meet the needs of the most vulnerable Afghans.

“As health needs increase in Afghanistan, we must move quickly to address the shortages in medical supplies to keep life-saving health services running,” the statement said.

“A second flight donated by the State of Qatar is expected to arrive later this week, carrying more WHO medical supplies,” it added.

Together, the two shipments which contain essential medicines such as insulin, medical consumables, trauma and surgery kits, and Covid-19 testing kits, will address the urgent health needs of 1.45 million people and provide for 5,400 major and minor surgeries, according to the statement.

The supplies will be distributed to 280 health facilities and 31 public Covid-19 laboratories across Afghanistan, it said, adding that WHO is exploring options to expedite further shipments of health supplies to Afghanistan.- Bernama