In 2020, Afghans were not just hit by a global pandemic, but also continued to endure an endless conflict that wounds and kills so many people.
In Afghanistan, Friday is the day off for international staff.
A few weeks ago, I was relaxing on the terrace behind our house here in Lashkar-Gah with Olivia, who is a nurse; she had just returned from her day on call and was telling me how it had gone. As we heard the muezzin recite the evening call to prayer, we suddenly saw a flash. Then the deafening noise of an explosion.
We began to see smoke rising above the houses. A car bomb had exploded outside the stadium about a mile away from us. Fifteen minutes later, we were at the hospital with the rest of the staff to respond to the mass casualty.
Edris is 7 years old and that Friday he was much, much closer to the explosion than we were. Someone must have found him in the midst of the confusion in front of the stadium and brought him to us.; he was in a state of shock and had suffered shell injuries to his skull, both thighs and feet. When he entered the sub-ICU, his condition was critical.
Today, he returned for his dressing: his physical wounds are healing well and are on the way to recovery. But if you look at him in the eyes, they tell another story, of the things he saw that evening; of wounds that may never heal.
– Simon, EMERGENCY Logistician, Lashkar-Gah