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SARS-CoV-2 and displaced persons in Afghanistan: A blind spot in epidemic preparedness

Displaced populations living in overcrowded settlements present an emerging and severe COVID-19 public health risk in conflict-affected countries across the globe. In Afghanistan, the scale of the risk is sobering: over 8 million people have been displaced since 2012, including 4.2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 4 million returnees from Iran and Pakistan [1]. Many live in overcrowded urban settlements that lack basic water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, where the virus and associated lockdowns can wreak human, social and economic havoc.

Conflict and COVID-19: A double burden for Afghanistan's healthcare system

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has put an additional strain on Afghanistan's weak healthcare system. Prior to the pandemic, the government and its allies had already problems in providing high quality health services for the people in Afghanistan because of inadequate facilities, insecurities, and ongoing conflicts. This year, COVID-19 exacerbated the situation and overwhelmed the healthcare system even further. As predicted, an influx of migrants suspected of having COVID-19 contributed to community transmission and led to an increase of cases across the country.

Health profile of adult special immigrant visa holders arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States, 2009–2017: A cross-sectional analysis


Between 2,000 and 19,000 Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders (SIVH) from Iraq and Afghanistan resettle in the United States annually. Despite the increase in SIV admissions to the US over recent years, little is known about the health conditions in SIV populations. We assessed the burden of select communicable and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in SIV adults to guide recommendations to clinicians in the US.

Neglect of low-income migrants in COVID-19 response

South Asia, home to around a quarter of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s poor, is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The global response to the pandemic has focused mainly on containment of the contagion and “flattening the curve” through testing and strict social distancing, but these universal approaches fail to take account of resource limitations in countries in South Asia and ignore the realities of vulnerable populations, such as low-income migrants, internally displaced people (IDP) and refugees.