Shantesh Kumar Singh, Postdoctoral Fellow, working under the project Governance for Global Health, participated as a paper presenter in an interdisciplinary conference on “Globalisation at the Crossroads: Rethinking Inequalities and Boundaries” organized by EADI and University of Bergen, held at Bergen, Norway between August 20-23, 2017. He presented a paper on “Peace through Health in Post-Conflict Settings: A Case Study of Afghanistan”. In presentation, he emphasized how the war targets health infrastructure, water, sanitation, hygiene (Wash), food security, human resources and the state governance to prevent and treat diseases.
Unfortunately, violence against Afghan citizens is no longer uncommon, as has been demonstrated tragically by killings. It has been most targeted nation for extremists and terrorists for last few decades. Afghanistan’s health system witnessed greatest loss due to conflict and war, which made people to leave in mental and physical unrest. The Afghan war cannot simply be declared over; a complex package of measures will be required, which transform economic relations, as well as political incentives. A conflict resolution process must be holistic and multi-levelled. In last few years, the “Peace through Health” initiatives have been enhanced by partnerships beyond the health sector with various stakeholders to promote and bring peace in Afghanistan.
Finally, he concluded that Global community and organizations can, and do, impact peace in both positive and detrimental ways in all post conflict settings of the world including Afghanistan. The intertwined nature of health and peace aside, health is understood to further embody other characteristics that make it an essential tool for peace building and reconciliation. Cooperation among health professionals and interventions in conflict zones can contribute to improved outcomes for the suffering populations as well as to building a lasting peace. The conference represented by various stakeholders like scholars, policymakers, practitioners and participants from the private sector and NGO’s to engage themselves in new approaches to understand global challenges and reflect on paths forward.