Afghanistan

Afghan National Army doing a route clearence patrol exercise at the Kabul Militairy Training Centre (KMTC)

Afghan National Army, at the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC).

 

The current boundaries of Afghanistan were established in the late 19th Century, as a result of a rivalry (coined the “Great Game” by Rudyard Kipling) between imperial Britain and tsarist Russia. Modern Afghanistan became a pawn in struggles over political ideology and commercial influence. In the last quarter of the 20th Century, Afghanistan suffered the ruinous effects of a civil war greatly exacerbated by the military invasion and occupation by the Soviet Union (1979–89).

In subsequent armed struggles, a surviving Afghan communist regime resisted against Islamic insurgents (1989–92), and, following a brief rule by Mujahideen groups, an austere movement of religious students—the Taliban—rose up against the country’s governing parties and warlords. The Taliban established a theocratic regime (1996–2001) that soon fell under the influence of a group of well-funded Islamists led by an exiled Saudi Arabian, the recently deceased Osama bin Laden. This regime collapsed in December 2001 in the wake of a sustained U.S.-dominated military campaign aimed at the Taliban and bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization. Soon after, anti-Taliban forces agreed to a period of transitional leadership and an administration that would lead to a new constitution as well as the establishment of a democratically elected government.

Immunizations: Contact your physician or a travel clinic six to eight weeks before departure. Based on your individual risk assessment, a health care professional can determine your need for immunizations and/or preventive medication, and advise you on the precautions to take to avoid getting sick.

Travel Insurance: Ingle International provides comprehensive travel insurance for adventure travelers who wish to cover themselves in preparation the unexpected.

Entry/Exit Requirements: To obtain information on specific entry requirements, contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting.

Health services are significantly substandard. Medical facilities are not appropriately sanitized and patients requiring medical treatment for incisions or wounds run a significant risk of infection. In Kabul, there are private clinics that offer a higher standard of service. Immediate cash payment is required for any medical service.

Medical evacuation is rarely possible due to a shortage of companies willing to service Afghanistan. Evacuation on military flights is impossible. It is strongly recommended that travelers arrange for medical insurance prior to departure. Insurance should cover emergency expenses, such as medical evacuation.

Consumption of untreated water and water-based foods greatly increases the possibility of illness. Travelers should drink bottled water only.

Eyes, throat, nose, and skin can become irritated during summer and winter months due to dry, dusty conditions.

Prescription medicine is not available; travelers should bring sufficient supplies for the duration of their stay. Prescription medications should be kept in their original containers, and packed in carry-on luggage.  

Pregnant women should not travel to Afghanistan under any circumstances. Delivering a baby in this environment puts both mother and child at a significant risk of infection, disease, or death. This is due to the bacterial environment, medical techniques, and lack of medical facilities, equipment, and medication.

Avoid All Travel

The decision to travel to a dangerous location is the sole responsibility of the traveler. Travelers are responsible for their own personal safety.
                

Crime

Violent attacks against foreigners have been known to take place, including armed robbery and rape. Signs of affluence should not be visible, and as such, carrying large sums of money is discouraged. Traveling at night should be avoided. Carjackings and robberies could also occur. Weapons are easily available.

Demonstrations and Civil Unrest

Demonstrations and/or civil unrest are not uncommon throughout Afghanistan. Some past demonstrations have become violent, resulting in injury, and even death. Political and socio-economic issues are often the cause. It is advised to avoid all political gatherings and demonstrations, as they may turn violent without warning. It is also best to stay away from areas where these types of gatherings are expected to take place.

General Information

Basic infrastructure services, such as telephones and electricity, are minimal-even in urban areas. Food and water shortages are common.

In Kabul, there is a 24-hour emergency service which is reachable by dialing 119.


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