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Afghanistan introduces blockchain in bid to improve health care

By Ramla Soni

New technology will help Ministry of Health will standardise services and bring ‘transparency, acceleration and effectiveness’

Afghanistan is introducing blockchain technology in its healthcare sector.

The Afghan Voice Agency reports that the country’s Ministry of Public Health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with blockchain firm FantomOperations to use technology to identify counterfeit medicines, create medical registries for hospitals and computerise patient files.

Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz said the ministry was committed to the “institutionalisation of electronic government in the health sector”.

Blockchain will help bring “transparency, acceleration and effectiveness”, and enable Afghans to receive standard health services across the country, Feroz said.

The government and public have expressed concerns about the amount of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the country. Many Afghans use traditional medicine for health problems because they are cheaper and more accessible, according to al report from the European Asylum Support Office.

In 2002, only 9 per cent of people in the country had access to health services, but by 2016.

60 per cent lived within a one-hour walk of a health centre and 90 per cent were within two hours.

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