KEY MEDICAL FIGURES
More than 40 years of conflict and instability has left Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure in ruins, and many people dependent on humanitarian assistance.
The crisis in Afghanistan is characterized by upsurges in conflict, recurring disasters, widespread internal displacement, very low health indicators, extreme poverty, and an overburdened and underfunded healthcare system.
In 2019, presidential elections and peace talks between the U.S. and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, better known as the Taliban, led to renewed violence, which had a severe impact on people’s access to healthcare.
MSF ran six projects in six provinces in 2019, with a focus on emergency, pediatric and maternal healthcare.
In March, we completed the handover of the Ahmad Shah Baba hospital in eastern Kabul to the Ministry of Public Health. Since opening the project in 2009, MSF has worked to upgrade it to a district hospital, strengthening the emergency department, maternity services and treatment protocols.
MSF continued running a dedicated 24- hour maternity hospital in Khost, eastern Afghanistan, providing a safe environment for women to give birth. The team assisted over 23,000 births in 2019. We estimate this is nearly half the total births for Khost province. We also continued supporting five health centres in outlying districts, increasing their capacity to manage normal births.
We continued supporting the Boost provincial hospital, one of only three referral facilities in an area severely affected by conflict and insecurity, and with few fully functional medical facilities.
In December 2018, MSF opened a clinic in the outskirts of Herat after a wave of internally displaced people arrived in the city. In 2019, we treated more than 44,000 patients, most of whom were children suffering from acute respiratory infections and watery diarrhea.
Increased awareness of our project caused the number of patients attending the wound care clinic in Kunduz to rise by almost 30 per cent. The clinic treats stable patients with wounds from minor burns, trauma, previous surgery or diseases that cause chronic skin lesions.