On October 7, 2023, Afghanistan was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that was followed by numerous aftershocks. This was the most powerful seismic activity to affect the northwestern region of Afghanistan since 1978, as reported by the United States Geological Survey. The earthquake claimed the lives of more than 2000 individuals and caused injury to many more.
The earthquake of October 7, 2023, has already placed a monumental strain on Afghanistan’s health-care system and its populace. Access to medical care has been severely affected, with at least 40 health-care facilities reported damaged in a region that was already largely deprived of essential health services before the disaster. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that services for about 580,000 people have been severely disrupted. To ensure an ongoing robust response and assistance for those in need, enacting disaster preparedness and response planning is imperative, as is ensuring financial backing and requisite resources. The provision of psychological support and interventions will also be greatly needed.