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Feature: Chinese-Made Medical Materials Fuel Hospital Needs in Afghanistan

Amid increasing demand for medical materials, Afghan hospitals are thankful for having access to cheap and fine medical materials and equipment imported from China.

A number of Afghan businessmen have joined hands to establish a firm to import quality medical materials at reasonable prices from China.

Established in 2017, the Afghan Surgical Corporation Company, with 16 domestic shareholders, mostly focuses on the import of “surgical equipment and medical materials of better quality with low prices from China,” said Nasrallah Neyazi, the company’s chief executive officer.

“This is why we have chosen the Chinese companies,” Neyazi told Xinhua on Sunday, adding that the company imports 50 to 60 40-foot containers of medical materials from China annually.

According to Neyazi, who is also a shareholder of the company, 90 to 95 percent of his company’s medical items, both medical equipment and medicine, are imported from China, while in Afghanistan as a whole, 90 percent of medical items at the markets of the country are also made in China.

“We import all medical items, including different kinds of syringes, serum sets, examination gloves and surgical gloves, as well as about 10 to 15 items of medicine, such as ciprofloxacin serums, metronidazole serums, metoclopramide ampules and other ampules,” he explained.

Neyazi added that the company’s purchase committee staff regularly travel to China to visit Chinese firms, check items, sign contracts, and bring back the materials and equipment to Afghanistan.

In terms of the most needed syringes with needles, he said that imports from China account for 95 percent of the Afghan market nationwide, while Afghanistan’s self-made medical materials account for about 4 percent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese health companies were the main suppliers of the company, which had imported a great number of materials and equipment such as facial masks, hand sanitizers and thermometers from China, said Neyazi.

Dr. Ehsanullah Shinwari, a specialist physician and director of the Kabul-based Mercy Hospital, told Xinhua that “Our country is poor, and items with the same quality from other countries are expensive.”

We hope to use more Chinese drugs, which, due to the language barrier, are less used than those from other neighboring countries, said Shinwari.

Source : Xinhua