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In Lashkar-gah, a constant succession of arriving patients

There are four girls, a little boy and a woman. The man accompanying them says that their home was struck during a bombardment, probably in an attempt to remove the Taliban, which by now, for days, has been trying to reach and enter the city.

Seated on benches just outside the emergency department are another child and an infant, covered in the dust into which their home has been transformed. They are, luckily, unhurt, but frightened and hungry. For days, their family has not been able to find enough food for themselves.

Some hours later, at five in the morning, 26 patients arrive together, all of them with firearm or shrapnel wounds. It took them a number of hours to get successfully to our hospital.

In Lashkar-gah, Afghanistan, the days involve a constant succession of arriving patients.

We are here to guarantee treatment to whomever has need. However, the hope is that the whole population of Helmand can return back to their homes, without risking being injured by a projectile, bombardment, or mine; that is, without risking becoming “collateral damage” of the war.