KEY 2021 MEDICAL FIGURES
births assisted, including 1,670 Cesarean sections
emergency room consultations
Afghanistan saw great upheaval in 2021, with the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (also known as the Taliban) seizing control in August.
From that point onward, MSF’s programs saw a huge increase in consultations, as people could travel more freely to reach medical care. While many health facilities closed or were more limited in scope after losing their international funding following the change in government, MSF kept our programs running throughout the year.
For 13 days in May, fighting prevented MSF staff from leaving the 300-bed Boost hospital compound in Lashkar Gah, where we offer maternal healthcare, pediatrics and surgery. We continued treating patients, including many who were war-wounded. For the final four months of the year, the hospital was routinely functioning over capacity and in September, we recorded the highest number of assisted births and patients requiring emergency care since we first started supporting the hospital in 2009.
In Kandahar, we sent our patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis home with extra stocks of medication and conducted remote consultations when fighting reached the city. We also set up a temporary clinic for children in an informal settlement and sent a mobile clinic to assist people who were displaced on the border with Pakistan. In Khost, we expanded our maternal and neonatal care hospital to enable more women to give birth safely.
Fighting also reached Kunduz, where our new trauma centre was still under construction, leading us to transform our office space into a 25-bed emergency trauma unit. On Aug. 16 the centre opened, with 54 beds, an intensive care unit, two operating rooms and an outpatient department. In Herat, we ran a clinic for people who are internally displaced and a therapeutic feeding centre for children at the regional hospital, while offering COVID-19 treatment at a dedicated site.