Media play key role in families’ health awareness: MINISTER

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KABUL: The National Nutrition Survey (NNS) which was started in 2013 by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) with technical and financial cooperation of UNICEF, Central Statistics Office, Agha Khan University and Silk Route, its results were announced yesterday in a press conference by the Minister of Public Health and UNICEF representative to Afghanistan.  
Findings of this survey suggest that around 58 percent of children below six months were exclusively breastfed thus preventing them from many childhood illnesses, the rate of iron deficiency in children had decreased from 72 percent to 26 percent in the past decade and iodine deficiency among children has reduced from 72 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2013.
Declaring the survey findings, Dr. Suraya Dalil, the Minister of Public Health said, that the survey shows significant improvement in the nutrition status of women and children in Afghanistan in the past ten years.
“A good thing coming out from the survey is that the efforts undertaken over the past decade have resulted in the improvement of the nutrition status of our people. It is now critical that we carry on in this direction till the goal of better health and nutrition for all Afghans is achieved,” said the minister while appreciating the reduction in malnutrition rates of women and children.
“Results of the survey indicate that awareness campaigns have had great impact in improving the knowledge and nutritional practices of families,” she added, emphasizing the role of the media can play in raising knowledge and awareness of families. 
Meanwhile, representative of UNICEF to Afghanistan, Akhil Iyer, said, “Improvements in the nutrition status of children, adolescent girls and women have made us more optimistic toward the future. Stunting among children has decreased by nearly 20 percent from 60.5 percent in 2004 to 40.9 percent in 2013”. The MoPH will soon be conducting and academic symposium to discuss the findings of the survey in detail and will come up with key recommendations and action plans to tackle the issue of malnutrition in the country. 
The NNS 2013 was conducted throughout the country, covering all 34 provinces where children under five, adolescent girls and women were surveyed. The nutrition status of adolescent girls (10-19 years) was assessed for the first time in Afghanistan in this survey and the findings highlight that nearly 8 percent of adolescent girls are thin or undernourished and about 30 percent of them are anemic as well.
The Kabul Times

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Car-bomb blast Kills 80 in Paktika

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At least 80 people were killed and over 80 others were injured following a suicide attack in eastern Paktika province.
The incident took place on yesterday afternoon in Orgun district after a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).
An intelligence official said at least nearly 110 people were injured following the suicide attack which took place in a busy market.
Another security official said the dead bodies of at least four people were recovered, while officials in Orgun civil hospital said dozens of injured people including women and children have been taken to the hospital.
The Kabul Times

 

Nangarhar museum’s professional employee passes away

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KABUL: Juma Gul Khan, a former employee working for Ministry of Information and Culture in Nangarhar province, has passed away due to a disease he was suffering.
Minister of Information and Culture Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen while offering sympathy and condolences to the deceased family and colleagues and considering his death as a loss said late Juma Gul Khan had spent 36 years of his life in the service of culture and protection of the country’s historical monuments and was an honest, kind and servant of this land.
The Kabul Times

17 Taliban militants killed in counter-terrorism operations

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At least 17 Taliban militants were killed following counter-terrorism operations in various provinces of Afghanistan in the past 24 hours. The ministry of interior of Afghanistan (MoI) following a statement said the operations were jointly conducted by Afghan national police, Afghan national army and Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives.
The statement further added that the operations were conducted in Kapisa, Faryab, Ghazni and Paktika provinces. Interior said at least 10 militants were also injured and another militant was detained during the operations. MoI in its statement also added that Afghan national security forces confiscated various types of heavy and light weapons along with the ammunition during the operations. Afghan national police forces discovered and seized 3 improvised explosive device (IED) during the same operations, MoI said.
Interior ministry said the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recently planted by Taliban militants for the insurgency activities.
The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.
The Kabul Times

ANSF should curb terrorist attacks in coordination with locals, NSC

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KABUL: The National Security Council (NSC) with President Hamid Karzai on the chair held meeting in presidential palace yesterday.
At the beginning of the meeting, the ministers for security apparatus said that the terrorists are targeting and killing innocent people on charge of cooperating with the government.
They stated that the enemies by organizing roadside bombings along the roads and highways in different provinces including Helmand, Ghor and Kunar, killing and harassing innocent people.
Strongly condemning the coward terrorist attacks, the NSC instructed the national security forces to curb terrorist activities in coordination with the locals.
Appreciating the support of locals with security forces in repulsing terrorists from Charsada district of Ghor province, noting that improving security is impossible with the support of people.
President Karzai personally thanked the people of Charsada district over their support to security forces.
Receiving reports from Paktika province about installation of barbed wire by Pakistani troops near Durand Line fence was also discussed in the meeting and the ministry for tribal affairs and frontiers and interior were assigned to check the report and present their report in the next meeting of the NSC.
The Kabul Times

Kerry, Kubiš praise President Karzai’s role in solution of election disputes

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KABUL: UN special envoy to Afghanistan Ján Kubiš in a joint news conference with President Hamid Karzai and Secretary of State John Kerry said that created conceptions made related to commitment of President Karzai over the election process were proved as wrong. In the joint press conference held Saturday night at presidential palace, UN special envoy to Afghanistan thanked President Hamid Karzai for strongly and managerially leading and exceptional commitment related to transition of Afghanistan political power, asserting that questions, conceptions and predicts related to commitment of the President over the process were proved as wrong. He also praised John Kerry for his efforts related to solution of the electoral stalemate and agreement of the two presidential candidates towards national unity, prosperity, peace and stability of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry praised President Hamid Karzai for his role in solution of the election dispute and said, “Difficult way is still ahead because key responsibilities should be implemented for auditing the ballots and difficult decisions are ahead, adding efforts, leading and political wisdom of the two candidates are needed in this regard.”
“Tonight Afghanistan witnessed a real unity and a moment in which both contenders got united their rigid followers toward implementation of their country’s interests higher than their individual interest,” Kerry said. John Kerry expressed hope that restoration of reliable votes of Afghanistan people towards electing new president of Afghanistan would be implemented in upcoming few weeks.
The Kabul Times

 

UN asks President Karzai to delay inauguration ceremony

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KABUL: UN special envoy to Afghanistan Ján Kubiš in a letter has asked President Hamid Karzai to delay the date of holding new elected president’s oath taking ceremony in order to audit 100% electoral votes. UN special envoy to Afghanistan has said in the letter, “Auditing of overall ballots requires enough period of time, so I would like to ask you His Excellency to review a period of one month delay in date of new elected president’s oath taking ceremony currently fixed on August 2.” In the letter, Ján Kubiš also expressed happiness over agreement made by two presidential runners Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai related to auditing of all 100% ballots cast in the second round of presidential election. The Kabul Times