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Two of EMERGENCY’s healthcare facilities in Afghanistan have been hit by crossfire in the last 24 hours. 

This evening (Monday 9 August), a rocket exploded in the compound of EMERGENCY’s Lashkar-Gah Surgical Centre for War Victims.  A rocket also landed next door in the compound of Boost Hospital, which is supported by MSF. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

“Tonight, a small missile landed in our hospital. Luckily there were no causalities and just minor damage to the building. But we take this chance to re-emphasise that we are not a target.” Says Viktor Urosevic, EMERGENCY’s Medical Coordinator in Lashkar-Gah.

Last night (Sunday 8 August), shrapnel and bullets hit our First Aid Post in Maidan Shahr, near Kabul. No staff members were injured as we had been forced to temporarily close the facility shortly beforehand in order to protect the safety of our colleagues. The First Aid Post is in an area with heavy fighting and had already been hit by a barrage of bullets last Friday.

“Being forced to close a First Aid Post at a time like this means depriving the local population of emergency care in an area that has always lacked access to health facilities,” said Alberto Zanin, Medical Coordinator of our Surgical Centre in Kabul, “but right now we have no other option.

Hospitals are not a target. We again call on all parties to respect health facilities and ensure that they are not put in harm’s way.

EMERGENCY’s First Aid Posts and Healthcare Centres are crucial facilities for people living in remote areas of Afghanistan, because they often represent the only chance to receive immediate treatment and medical assistance. EMERGENCY’s First Aid Posts are linked to the organisation’s hospitals by a 24-hour ambulance service. During 2020, they received 320,000 patient visits and conducted more than 9,000 ambulance transfers.

EMERGENCY has been present in Afghanistan since 1999 with two Surgical Centres for War Victims in Kabul and Lashkar-Gah, a Surgical & Paediatric Centre and a Maternity Centre in Anabah, Panjshir Valley, and a network of 44 First Aid Posts and Healthcare Clinics.