Afghanistan: MSF Works With Local Staff to Aid Bombing Victims

Valérie Batselaere/MSF
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MSF worked with local staff at Boost hospital in Helmand province to treat the wounded after four explosions occurred in the city of Lashkargah on June 20.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) personnel in Afghanistan worked with local staff at Boost hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province, to treat 24 people wounded when four explosions occurred in the city on the morning of June 20.

“Patients started arriving at the emergency room 20 minutes after the first 2 explosions, which happened outside a bank,” says Dr. Paulo Reis, MSF’s doctor in charge. “Initially we received 20 patients, among them 3 children with varying degrees of trauma, from shell injury to shoulder lacerations. Two of these were admitted for surgery immediately, with a third shortly after.”

Following the third explosion, two more people arrived for treatment. A fourth explosion, this one six miles outside of Lashkargah, resulted in the arrival of two more casualties. One had severe facial injuries and was given life-saving respiratory support.

“It helped that the new emergency room was properly stocked, with approximately 20 staff on hand to receive patients when they started arriving” says Dr. Reis.

Three of the wounded—two children and one woman—died soon after arrival at Boost. Sixteen patients were discharged after treatment and five are currently still under care, four of whom of are in stable condition, while the fifth will be referred for facial reconstructive surgery.

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MSF chooses to rely solely on private donations for its work in Afghanistan and does not accept funding from any government. In addition to its support to Boost hospital in Lashkargah, MSF currently supports Ahmed Shah Baba hospital in eastern Kabul. In both locations, MSF’s aim is to provide life-saving and free medical care using effective drugs, working in all areas including maternity, pediatrics, surgery and emergency rooms.