For those who do manage to reach health facilities, actual care often remains elusive because of cost. In Khost, in the east of the country, and in the capital, Kabul, roughly half the people surveyed by MSF borrowed money or sold what they could to pay for medicines or doctors' fees during a recent illness. Several sought care in neighbouring Pakistan.
The current reality, though, is that all too often newly diagnosed people are left alone and vulnerable, without access to the support they so desperately need. Confirmation of sight loss is devastating news. And it often comes with no practical advice, counselling, support or guidance. This is a terrible predicament for anyone facing this appalling situation.
Developments in telemedicine are benefitting patients with a broad range of needs as well as improving hospital services and improving resource allocation across the NHS. Significant progress has been made towards three million people being able to benefit from telehealth by 2017 in the UK, so these programmes could be coming to hospital near you soon.
Picture the scene - you are completing an application form for life insurance and a page comes up giving you the option to upload data from your always-on fitness monitor, outlining your exercise, work and sleep patterns for the past 6 months, with the incentive that reduced premiums may be available for those who do.
As a passionate advocate of joined-up patient care, I have long been concerned by the omission from discussions about the future of the NHS of a key healthcare profession - pharmacy. It is estimated that one in seven GP visits could be effectively dealt with by a local pharmacist - at significantly less cost to an NHS that is battling a tough savings target and growing demand.
Global leaders gathering in Davos this week once again find the world's response to growing healthcare pressures high on their agenda. Good health - both mental and physical - remains one of the most pressing social and economic issues of our time, consuming the largest share of the world's GDP and growing.
A social venture and campaigning organisation, CSL's mission is to ensure that anyone that wants it has access to qualified tools and technologies that enable them to express themselves creatively, connect with other people and work together on arts based projects, thereby improving their quality of life.
In early Septemper this year, the healthcare-battered USA, took a significant step towards better patient-care. The Food and Drug Administration department of US government made it mandatory for health-related devices to be identified by a specific number, which will make its tracking easy with all vital details relating to the devices/implants and their embedding into a patient.
The highest form of charity, argued the 12th-century Jewish philosopher Maimonides, is when the help given enables the receiver to become self- sufficient. But our systems of state charity - aka welfare - have too frequently had the opposite effect: they have actually created dependency. It is time to re-think the way we help people.
By 2020, 40% of healthcare will be accessed online. That's the prediction of Professor Clare Gerada, until recently the chair of the Royal College of GPs. Her claims have generated much debate, which crystallised around one central objection - the argument that online health services are not inclusive.
I left Dublin this year, at the close of ISPOR's 16th Annual European Congress, thinking in terms of what is important when making a decision. The parameters need to be simple, intuitive and transparent in any evaluation model. This sounds straightforward, but which parameters should be measured, and how is a fair decision made?
Here are the facts: stroke is a preventable, treatable disease. Despite this, one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime, and someone dies every six seconds from a stroke. 15 million people have a stroke every year, and sadly, 6 million of those don't survive. Facts like this are the basis for the World Stroke Day's '1 in 6' campaign.