23 years ago, EMERGENCY opened a First Aid Post in Afghanistan.
The Maternity Centre previously saw an average of over 600 births per month, alongside many surgeries and thousands of outpatient consultations. Unfortunately, the recent situation in Afghanistan has meant that fewer women have been coming to receive care and give birth.
“Most of the patients come from other provinces, so we have had a reduction in the number, especially of critical cases which require specialized care like obstetrics,” says Raffaela, a gynaecologist based at the facility. “However, our ICU is always full and our operating theatre is always running. Now we are working more or less at 30% of our normal capacity. In the last few days, more and more people have been coming to the hospital. There has been a slight increase in arrivals. Especially pregnant women and children.”
The Maternity Centre is staffed by an incredibly dedicated team, most of whom have been trained by EMERGENCY.
“We are continuing with our regular daily activities, whilst preparing for a possible escalation of the conflict here,” says Raffaela.
But we are staying. We have been in Afghanistan for 20 years; our hospital in Helmand for example was in the middle of war and bombing for 17 years. We managed the hospital during that time. We are going to respect our mandate again, until the day we cannot run the activities in a safe way.