has some of the lowest living standards in the world, greatly injuring the
health and wellbeing of its citizens. Civil war in the 1980’s crippled
Afghanistan’s health system, as most medical professionals left the country and
all medical training programs were terminated (LC, 2018). As of 2014, there were
0.3 physicians and 0.5 hospital beds per 1000 population (UNSTATS, 2018). Currently,
Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate out of 225 countries in the
world of 112.8 deaths/1,000 live births (CIA, 2018). However, according to the
Ministry of Public Health, more than 67% of the population has access to a
basic package of health and hospital services provided by more than 2,200 health
facilities located in all 34 provinces, a large increase from 9% in 2003 (The
World Bank, 2015). Overall, the accessibility and quality of health services
must be improved to better serve the entire Afghan population.
The country’s education system was similarly hurt
by successive wars. As of 2015, the country’s literacy rate is 38.2% (52% of
males and 24.2% of females) and the school life expectancy (primary to tertiary
education) is 11 years (13 years for males and 8 years for females) (CIA, 2018).
While the 2004 constitution commits to the advancement of healthcare, education,
gender equality, and freedom of expression of citizens, much of the population
continues to suffer from shortages of clean water, sanitation services,
electricity, medical care, housing, and jobs (LC, 2008).