Bleak living conditions in Afghanistan's Baghrami market

The blocks of cold cement that make up Baghrami market in east Kabul have become an accidental place of refuge for hundreds of families who had to leave their homes in Kapisa province to flee from fighting there. These families arrived in Kabul a few months ago, but are just the latest from many thousands of people who have arrived in the last few years due to the widespread conflict in Afghanistan.

Many of them have settled into makeshift dwellings all over the city and are living in bleak conditions. Besides their clear needs for food, clean water, and medical care, the people huddled in Baghrami market also need help facing the cold Afghan winter. MSF has distributed relief items, consisting of 3,500 blankets and 700 plastic sheeting. In addition, MSF will work together with SHRDO, a local Afghan NGO specialized in health care to provide medical care for the thousands gathered in Baghrami market. In the upcoming eight weeks, MSF will support one SHRDO clinic by providing the necessary training, supplies and staff that are needed to boost the provision of free primary health care and medication for those displaced in the market.

Pregnant women and those who need emergency medical attention will be referred to Ahmad Shah Baba District hospital, only 5km away, where MSF has been supporting the provision of free medical care activities, with a focus on emergency and maternity care, since October, 2009.

For its work in Afghanistan, MSF chooses to rely solely on private donations and does not accept funding from any government. MSF currently supports the district hospital of Ahmad Shah Baba in eastern Kabul, and Boost hospital in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.