23 years ago, EMERGENCY opened a First Aid Post in Afghanistan.
The fighting that has erupted as a result of an attempted advance by the Taliban in Helmand province continues.
“We are on the sixth consecutive night of attacks and our Surgical Centre for War Victims in Lashkar-Gah is now saturated. We have already added emergency beds and now are only able to admit the most seriously injured patients, while referring those with minor injuries to other hospitals,” says Marco Puntin, EMERGENCY’s Programme Coordinator in Afghanistan.
“Fighting had already intensified before this new advance, so much so that since the beginning of the month we had already received around 200 war-wounded patients. But since Sunday, the situation has deteriorated even further. Civilians are paying the price for this offensive, trapped by the crossfire and often hit by mortars, rockets and grenades,” continues Puntin.
“Most of the patients we are currently admitting to the hospital are victims of bomb attacks and therefore suffer complicated injuries, which require complex surgery and a long hospital stay,” he explains.
At the moment, all the main roads connecting the city of Lashkar-Gah to the rest of the country are blocked, and telephone communications with the area are extremely difficult. UNAMA estimates that around 35,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.
Since Sunday, EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre for War Victims in Lashkar-Gah has received 132 patients with war injuries.
“The gap between the raised hopes of the peace negotiations in Doha and the harrowing daily reality of those who have seen their lives destroyed by fighting is abysmal,” Puntin concludes.
EMERGENCY has been present in Lashkar-Gah since 2004 with a Surgical Centre for War Victims, which is attached to various First Aid Posts across the province.
EMERGENCY is an independent, neutral organisation, founded in 1994 to offer free, high-quality medical and surgical treatment to victims of war, landmines and poverty. Since then EMERGENCY has treated over 11 million people: one every minute. EMERGENCY promotes a culture of peace, solidarity and respect for human rights.