MSF focuses on emergency, paediatric, and maternal healthcare in Afghanistan, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
We work in one hospital in Helmand province in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health. We run a maternity hospital in rural Khost province, a drug-resistant tuberculosis programme in Kandahar, and a wound care clinic in Kunduz. We also provide care to displaced people in Herat province.
Major attacks on MSF hospitals have occurred in recent years; in October 2015, US airstrikes destroyed our trauma centre in Kunduz, killing 42 people. An armed group attacked our maternity wing at Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul in May 2020, with 16 mothers and an MSF midwife among those killed. In the wake of the attack, we made the difficult decision to withdraw from the hospital in Kabul, leaving women in the area without critically-needed emergency obstetric care.
We are currently responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan.
A country still at war
MSF country representative Djoen Besselink gave us an update on the situation in Afghanistan today.
Speaking at the end of 2018, Djoen describes a country still at war, and explains the impact of the long-term conflict on humanitarian needs and healthcare coverage – even in Kabul, a city flooded by a massive influx of people fleeing the active fighting in other areas of the country.
By providing free, high quality maternal and neonatal healthcare in two hospitals in Helmand and Khost provinces, we aim to help reduce death and sickness in mothers and their newborns. Training medical staff is an integral and important part of our projects.
We support the diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In Kandahar province, in the south of the country, we run a laboratory, as well as facilities for hosting patients during their treatment.
Our trauma centre in Kunduz was destroyed in US airstrikes killing 42 people, in October 2015. In 2017, we returned to Kunduz and opened an outpatient clinic for people with minor trauma-related wounds and injuries, and a new trauma care centre is under construction.Learn more
In Herat, in the country’s northwest, we provide medical care to people who have been displaced due to conflict and drought. We are currently running an inpatient therapeutic feeding centre in Herat regional hospital’s paediatric department for the malnourished children of displaced families.