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Afghanistan: Providing Life-Saving Medical Care To The People Of Helmand Province

Afghanistan: Providing Life-Saving Medical Care to the People of Helmand Province

Helmand Province is one of the regions most severely affected by the war in Afghanistan, and suffers the highest total number of civilian casualties in the country. Lashkar-Gah alone recorded 20% of the nationwide total over the course of the past year. The region remains the scene of unremitting armed clashes between government forces and opposition groups. The fighting has detrimentally impacted numerous health facilities and many have been forced to close due to prolonged insecurity.

Within this context of instability and a lack of access to basic medical services, EMERGENCY has (since June of 2018) been delivering the “Lifesaving Health and Referral Services for the Trauma-Affected Population in Helmand Province” project; made possible by the generous funding of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). The project aims to reduce the high mortality and disability rates in Helmand Province, and improve victims’ access to life-saving medical-surgical services in Lashkar-Gah and in the neighbouring districts of Grishk, Garmsir, Musaqala, Sangin, Marjia, and Nawzad.

EMERGENCY began working in Afghanistan in 1999 and has, since then, treated over 5 million people in a country of approximately 30 million inhabitants. In 2004 the organisation opened the Lashkar-Gah Surgical Centre, the only hospital offering free and high-quality medical and surgical care in the entire region.

The project at the EMERGENCY Surgical Centre in Lashkar-Gah aims to provide free medical and surgical treatment for war victims, 24 hours a day, and to implement an effective patient transfer system from the 7 First Aid Posts (FAPs) located in high-risk areas of Helmand Province. Medical staff at the FAPs are trained to stabilise the injured and, in the most serious cases, coordinate ambulance transfers to EMERGENCY Surgical Centre in order to grant patients access to the care they need.

All EMERGENCY projects consider the specific needs of women, children, and other vulnerable groups. Planned activities will see over 40,000 beneficiaries.

EMERGENCY is an independent and neutral Italian organisation, founded in 1994 in order to offer free and high-quality medical and surgical treatment to the victims of war, landmines, and poverty. EMERGENCY promotes a culture of peace, solidarity, and respect for human rights. Since 1994, EMERGENCY has worked in 18 countries and treated over 9 million people.

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