J Epidemiol Community Health 60:20-23 doi:10.1136/jech.2005.040147
  • Evidence based public health policy and practice

Disease profile of children in Kabul: the unmet need for health care

  1. Amarendra Narayan Prasad
  1. Department of Paediatrics, and institution, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Kabul, Afghanistan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Lt Col A N Prasad
 Department of Paediatrics, Military Hospital, Mhow (Indore) – 453441, India; amarendraprasad{at}
  • Accepted 25 July 2005


This study was conducted at the paediatric emergency department of a tertiary care teaching and referral hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan to assess the morbidity and mortality pattern of illness in paediatric population. Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, and there is complete breakdown of the health care system in the country because of the continued war. A total of 17 850 children and neonates were seen at the paediatric emergency centre at IGICH, Kabul in one year period from 18 September 2002 to 17 September 2003. The most common illnesses were diarrhoea and respiratory infections. Infectious diseases, neonatal illnesses, and cardiac diseases were other important causes of morbidity. Neonatal deaths formed the major proportion of all deaths. Morbidity and mortality attributable to easily preventable/curable diseases was quite high. There is an urgent need to develop an integrated and effective health care system in the country.


  • Funding: none.

  • Competing interests: none declared.

  • Details of contribution: ANP analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. ANP will act as guarantor of the study.