Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has supported the 300-bed Boost provincial hospital in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, since 2009. It’s our largest project in Afghanistan and a lifeline for the 1.4 million people living in Helmand province, providing secondary health care that is not easily found elsewhere.
In the months after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, also known as the Taliban) took power and declared the decades long war over, MSF’s hospitals in the five provinces where we work—Khost, Kandahar, Kunduz, Helmand, and Herat—saw a sharp spike in patients seeking care. Several factors have contributed to this, including the improved security situation and a lack of alternative health care options, as many medical facilities have closed or are barely functioning due to a lack of funding, supplies, or staff.
In January 2022, photographer Oriane Zerah spent several days at the hospital documenting patients and staff.