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Anabah Surgical and Paediatric Centre

 EMERGENCY’s first medical facility in Afghanistan was in Anabah.


Over the past forty years Afghanistan has been ravaged by conflict, causing high numbers of civilian casualties; many of whom are killed or injured by explosive devices and landmines. Despite increasing clearance activities, Afghanistan remains one of the world’s most heavily land-mined nations. Many of the southern and central provinces experience fighting and violence on a daily basis. The resulting instability has forced many to abandon their livelihoods and flee, in search of safety.

Recent estimates indicate that over 9 million people in the country have limited or no access to healthcare services. The services that do exist are often inadequately equipped to meet the needs of the population. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are only two doctors; five nurses and midwives; and less than one pharmacist per 10,000 inhabitants.

Increasing levels of violence against medical facilities is a major concern. These attacks have long-term repercussions which extend far beyond their immediate aftermath. Attacks on medical facilities affect not only medical personnel and infrastructure, but also those people who are reliant upon them for essential healthcare. It is within this context that EMERGENCY operates various services throughout the country.

The Surgical and Paediatric Centre  

EMERGENCY’s Anabah Surgical and Paediatric Centre, in the mountainous Panjshir region, was the first EMERGENCY facility established in Afghanistan.

In 1999, we converted a former barracks into a Surgical Centre for War Victims.

Over the years, the Surgical Center has become a full-fledged general hospital: war surgery has been almost totally replaced by general surgery, trauma, internal medicine and pediatrics.

Today, our hospital in the Panshir Valley is a point of reference for the population of a very large area inhabited by about 250,000 people.

In addition, since 2003, the Anabah Surgical-Pediatric Center complex also houses the Maternity Center, the only specialized and free maternity center available in the region. A pediatric outpatient clinic also operates at the center.

Even in 2021, despite the fighting in the Valley, our staff never stopped working, admitting around 1,000 paediatric patients and performing almost 3,000 surgeries.

In the first half of 2022, we guaranteed an average of almost 3,000 paediatric visits and over 200 surgical admissions per month.

Our healthcare network in the area

An ambulance service connects the Surgical and Paediatric Centre in Anabah to a network of First Aid Posts (FAPs) and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), opened by EMERGENCY in the Panjshir Valley and in the neighbouring provinces of Kapisa, Parwan, Badakhshan, and on the Salang Pass. The staff at these clinics stabilise patients and, if required, arrange onward transportation to Anabah for further treatment. This wider network of services ensures access to emergency care for those in more isolated regions; cut off for much of the year by snow and a lack of decent road infrastructure.


A centre for specialist trainings

Our hospital in Anabah is formally recognized by the Afghan Ministry of Health as a center of specialist training in general surgery, gynecology, obstetrics, and pediatrics. This reflects the tireless work of EMERGENCY surgeons and staff over the years to provide free health care to the population of the Panjshir Valley, and to train new medical professionals.

In 2020 alone, we had 40 doctors including surgeons, pediatricians and gynecologists in residency. This is the fruit-and recognition-of a great deal of work done over the years to ensure free health care for the people of the valley.

This project is funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid

Programme Data

Location: Anabah, Panjshir Valley

Start of clinical activities: December 1999

Activities: Surgery for war victims, emergency surgery, general surgery, traumatology, internal medicine, paediatrics.

Facilities: Accident and emergency, clinic, 2 operating theatres, sterilisation, intensive care, wards, physiotherapy, radiology, laboratory and blood bank, pharmacy, classrooms, playroom, technical and support services.

Medical and surgical outpatient consultations: 358,174

Medical and surgical admissions: 48,434

Surgical operations: 43,417

Paediatric outpatient consulations: 259,684

Paediatric admissions: 16,539

(Data correct as of December 2022)

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