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Kabul Surgical Centre

 EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre in Kabul was built on the remains of nursery damaged by a missile.

Kabul Surgical Centre

EMERGENCY has been working in Afghanistan since 2000, when the organisation began renovating and expanding a former nursery school in the centre of the capital, Kabul, which had been destroyed by a rocket that killed five children. In April 2001, this structure re-opened as a Surgical Centre for victims of war and landmines, and was expanded in 2015 to improve the facilities and increase the number of beds.

The Centre houses an impressive number of facilities, including three operating theatres, an intensive care unit, an A&E, outpatient clinics, a laboratory and blood bank, a radiology department and equipment for physiotherapy and CT scans. The Centre also specialises in trauma surgery, however, since July 2010 the admissions criteria was restricted to war surgery only in order to cope with the influx of war-related admissions.

Although the ISAF mission officially drew to a close in December 2014, intense fighting continues across the country. According to the latest report from UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan), in the first six-months of 2015, the ongoing war claimed 4,921 civilian victims, including 1,592 deaths and 3,329 people seriously injured. In Kabul, suicide attacks and armed assaults are a regular occurrence and the EMERGENCY Surgical Centre has never been so full with patients travelling from the farthest corners of the country to receive treatment. In 2015, the facility was admitting an average of 8 patients a day, 24% more than in 2014 and 144% more than in 2010.

The Kabul Surgical Centre is also linked to EMERGENCY’s First Aid Posts (FAPs) in Andar, Gardez, Ghazni, Chark-Logar, Maydan Shahr, Mirbachakot, Pul I Alam, Sheikhabad andTagab, and to the Primary Health Clinics (PHCs) in Kabul and in the nearby provinces.

The New Facility

Driven by this increase in patients, in 2015 we enlarged the facility in Kabul: building a new operating block with 3 operating theatres, reorganising the intensive care ward and step-down unit, and increasing the number of inpatient beds to 120. Even while the renovation work was in progress, the hospital still managed to guarantee treatment for the wounded, seeing a total of 12,057 patients over the course of the year. As of 2017, the surgical centre had admitted 45,570 patients, performed 117,752 examinations and 61,264 operations since its opening in 2001.


The Kabul surgical centre operates in line with EMERGENCY’s ethos of working to provide sustainable healthcare through the training of local staff who can continue our organisation’s projects after our staff have left. The Kabul hospital is officially recognised by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health as a centre for the preparation of trainee doctors specialising in emergency surgery and traumatology. Following a request from the World Health Organisation, in 2015, in collaboration with the Ministry, we trained over 200 doctors and nurses from the provinces in the pre-hospital management of trauma and mass casualty situations at our centre. At the end of 2015, the Kabul hospital had 323 local staff.

Programme Data

Location: Kabul

Start of clinical activities: April 2001

Activities: War surgery

Bed capacity: 120

Facilities: A&E, Outpatient Clinics, 3 Operating Theatres, Sterilisation, Intensive Care, Sub-intensive Care, Wards, Physiotherapy, CT (Computerised Tomography), Radiology, Laboratory and Blood Bank, Pharmacy, Classrooms, Playroom, Technical and Auxiliary Services.

National staff: 338

Out-patients: 117,752

In-patients: 45,570

Surgical operations: 61,264

(Data correct as of 31 December, 2017)

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