A Trauma Center in Kunduz, Afghanistan

The front gate at the MSF trauma hospital in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, is seen November 29, 2011. The MSF hospital opened in August, 2011 and provides surgical care and physical therapy. It is the only trauma center of its kind in the region.
Michael Goldfarb
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Opened in August 2011, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was the only facility of its kind in the region, providing free life- and limb-saving medical care to tens of thousands of people. In 2014, more than 22,000 patients received care at the hospital, and more than 5,900 surgeries were performed. The facility experienced a surge of patients in recent weeks as fighting between government and opposition forces engulfed Kunduz, with 337 people—39 children among them—receiving treatment from September 28 to October 2 alone. On October 3, the trauma center was destroyed by a US airstrike that killed 22 patients and MSF staff.

The front gate at the MSF trauma hospital in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, is seen November 29, 2011. The MSF hospital opened in August, 2011 and provides surgical care and physical therapy. It is the only trauma center of its kind in the region.
Michael Goldfarb
OPD patients wait for appointments outside at the Kunduz Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Northern Afghanistan.
Mikhail Galustov
Patients and their caretakers wait at the triage room of Kunduz Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Northern Afghanistan.
Mikhail Galustov
A physiotherapist assists Suleiman*, a 15-year-old boy in the intensive care unit at the MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, November 30, 2011. Suleiman underwent an emergency laparotomy the night before, after suffering a complete bowel obstruction due to a previous traumatic injury. The MSF hospital opened in August, 2011 and provides surgical care and physical therapy. It is the only trauma center of its kind in the region. *Name has been changed
Michael Goldfarb
Muhammad Fazal (40), farmer from Pol-e-Charhi, was shot by mistake by the Afghan Army Special Forces who picked him up, applied a tourniquet on his injured leg and handed him to his relatives. The tourniquet was too tight, there was not time mark and the soldiers did not explain Muhammad's relatives to remove the tourniquet after some time. The relatives put him in a taxi and drove to Kunduz, a few hours away. By the time Muhammad arrived at the Kunduz Trauma Centre, the tourniquet had been on for 4 hours. After the internal fixation surgery, doctors decided to amputate his leg above the knee. On the photo, physiotherapists show Muhammad simple exercises that he should start doing few days after the amputation.
Mikhail Galustov
Benafsha (5) plays with Isaline Pierreux, an MSF physiotherapist, at the physiotherapy room of Kunduz Trauma Centre. Her right arm was amputated after a local healer applied the wrong treatment to her fractured collarbone. He had tied her arm with a strong bandage that limited her blood circulation for days.
Mikhail Galustov
Eva Kusikova, ER doctor from Slovakia and her Afghan colleagues reanimate a head trauma patient injured in a motorbike accident at the ICU of Kunduz Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Northern Afghanistan.
Mikhail Galustov
MSF medical staff treats a female patient in the OPD of Kunduz Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Northern Afghanistan.
Mikhail Galustov
A man naps next to his son recovering in the MSF trauma hospital in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, November 30, 2011. The hospital, located in a busy urban environment, opened in August, 2011 and provides surgical care and physical therapy. It is the only trauma center of its kind in the region.
Michael Goldfarb/MSF
MSF surgeon Dr. Martin John Jarmin III (right) operates on a 20-year-old man at the MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, December 1, 2011. The man had suffered a gunshot wound to the lower chest and upper abdomen and required extensive exploratory surgery, during which a large section of his bowel was removed. The 55-bed MSF hospital opened in August, 2011 and provides urgent surgical care and follow-up treatment for people who have suffered injuries, some life-threatening. It is the only trauma center of its kind in the region.
Michael Goldfarb/MSF
Heavy fighting between Afghan forces and armed opposition groups in the northern-eastern province of Kunduz is increasingly isolating people living in the districts from the provincial capital, where Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) trauma centre has been receiving wounded patients. While Kunduz had been considered one of the more stable provinces in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, since last year, there has been a significant increase in fighting, with the current ‘spring offensive’ seeing an intense level of combat. In the three weeks since the announcement of the annual ‘fighting season’, medical staff at MSF’s trauma centre have treated 204 war wounded patients , the vast majority of them injured by gunshots or bomb blasts. Of these patients, 51 of them were women and children.
MSF