In-Depth: 40 children died in December on their way to receive medical care in Afghanistan

Children from Afghanistan living in Texas & now in school
Afghanistan Desperate Times Photo Gallery
Afghanistan Desperate Times Photo Gallery
Afghanistan Desperate Times Photo Gallery
Posted at 11:50 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 14:27:43-05

WACO, Texas — It's been a ride for many Afghan children uprooting from their home country and moving to the U.S.

One family that we are choosing to not name for their safety, find themselves in a place they never thought the would be.

"Two days before the collapse I got to America," said the father.

He had been working as an interrupter for the U.S. government. When the Taliban took over he knew it was time to get out.

For the three children it was a shock but the father had spent time protecting them from the past in Afghanistan. His daughter attended school while in Afghanistan which is now forbidden.

"This makes me very proud," the father said. "She's going to school, and especially since girls are not allowed currently in Afghanistan to go to school."

Now in school and using the technology of today to learn English the children are learning to adapt to a new way of living.

"I think it's a lot for kids to take in," said Ashley Faye of Refugee Services Of Texas.

Three-quarters of Afghanistan’s population went into into poverty.
An estimated 4.7 million Afghans will suffer malnutrition this year, according to the United Nations.

Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan

According to Save the Children, it's doubled the number of children visiting its clinics doubled since August. Forty children died in December on their way to receive medical care.

Afghanistan Desperate Times Photo Gallery
A girl walks with the help of her father in Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. Since the chaotic Taliban takeover of Kabul on Aug. 15, an already war-devastated economy once kept alive by international donations alone is now on the verge of collapse. There isn't enough money for hospitals. The World Health Organization is warning of millions of children suffering malnutrition, and the U.N. says 97% of Afghans will soon be living below the poverty line. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

It's that reason that many who now live in the U.S. feel horrible for their families back home.

 "I'm here, but I hope my family come here, then that will be occurred and we can stay together."

Before the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed in August. The health system relied on international aid with much of the funding frozen.

The International Rescue Committee recently predicted 90 percent of Afghanistan’s health clinics would more than likely close in the next few months.

Health Crisis in Afghanistan

Kabul’s Indira Gandhi hospital nearly closed in October. Staff unpaid. They had to cut down trees to cook.

APTOPIX Afghanistan Downward Spiral
An Afghan woman holds her children as she waits for a consultation outside a makeshift clinic at a sprawling settlement of mud brick huts housing those displaced by war and drought near Herat, Afghanistan, Dec. 16, 2021. The aid-dependent country’s economy was already teetering when the Taliban seized power in mid-August amid a chaotic withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops. The consequences have been devastating for a country battered by four decades of war, a punishing drought and the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

The World Health Organization reporting a outbreaks of diarrhea, measles, dengue fever, malaria and COVID-19 threaten to overwhelm overburdened hospitals. All that will more than likely put a burden on the hospitals.

Now in the U.S.

Forty-four percent are children who came to the U.S., according to a letter from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Thirty-four percent of the refugees are adult men, and 22 percent are adult women.

"They are coming from very traumatic situations and really not having a chance to process that trauma before jumping into a brand new life where they don't know the culture and they don't speak the language," said Ashley Faye.

It's a new environment to navigate. Finding items at grocery stores, public transportation, looking for work. Doing all this while worried about those back home.