Article Title: The psychiatric epidemiological studies in Afghanistan: A critical review of literature and future directions

Author(s): Peter Ventevogel

Journal: Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society, 2005

In the recent decades Afghanistan faced a series of long term disasters deeply affecting the coping mechanisms of the population and the capacity of the health care system to respond to the mental health needs. The effects of 25 years of violence in Afghanistan on the physical and human infrastructure have been enormous. At the height of the crisis the total number of refugees reached 3.7 million with 2 million in Pakistan and 1.5 million in Iran.1 The impact of decades of war and violence is reflected in Afghanistan’s health statistics which are among the poorest in the world. Life expectancy at birth is 43 years 2, the under-5 mortality rate is 257/1000 (fourth highest in the world) and the maternal mortality rate is 1900/100,000 (second highest in the world).3 This article explores how the impact of these disasters is reflected in epidemiological data and discusses how these data need to be valued.