Surgical Centre for War Victims in Lashkar-Gah

Afghanistan - Lashkar-gah

229,343

Patients treated in OPD

79,234

Surgical interventions

2004

Start of activities

Over 40% of the patients admitted at the Lashkar-Gah Surgical Centre are under the age of 14.


Background

EMERGENCY opened the Surgical Centre for War Victims in Lashkar-Gah in 2004. The hospital is the only free specialist trauma facility in Helmand province.

Helmand Province has been one of Afghanistan’s most volatile regions over the previous two decades of fighting, with large numbers of casualties: from 2004 to 2021, there have been tens of thousands of war wounded treated at this hospital.

Uninterrupted healthcare support

The hospital has been open and fully operational throughout the numerous phases of the conflict since 2001. The Lashkar-Gah Surgical Centre treated patients during the extremely volatile summer of 2021, culminating with the collapse of the Afghan government in August of that year. The Lashkar-Gah Surgical Centre remains open and committed to continuing operations uninterrupted. 

In order to provide immediate assistance to those in need, EMERGENCY established First Aid Posts (FAPs)in the remote districts neighbouring Lashkar-Gah, such as Grishk, Garmsir, Marjia, Sangin, Musa Qala, and Urmuz. In these facilities, our local medics provide crucial emergency care to patients. When necessary, patients are stabilised and then transferred to our hospital in Lashkar-Gah by ambulances which operate 24/7.

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Today, with the worsening economic and humanitarian crisis, our hospital is working to respond to the new health needs that are emerging and that show great difficulty in accessing care due to the conditions faced by the population. Among these new urgent needs is civil trauma. Since August 2021 to date, we have received more than 40 percent of children between 6 and 14, who have been victims of accidents of various kinds.

Education

As with many EMERGENCY facilities, the Afghan Ministry of Health has officially recognised the Lashkar-Gah Surgical Centre as a training facility for emergency surgery and traumatology. A core component of EMERGENCY’s work – in all its hospitals and medical facilities – is close partnership with, and training of, local medical professionals and ancillary staff. 

In 2022, there are 24 Afghan male and female students who have decided to start residency training in our hospitals in Afghanistan, including 4 in Lashkar-Gah.

These new residents join the 21, who had already started their pathway in 2021.

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Summer 2021

In May 2021, the conflict intensified in all provinces of the country following the announcement of the withdrawal of international troops. The fighting became even more intense in Lashkar-Gah, forcing us to restrict admission criteria to only the most seriously wounded, who needed urgent, life-saving treatment.

As part of the population left the city for fear of getting caught up in the fighting, the Taliban offensive began in early August for control of the government compound in Lashkar-Gah, which was taken after a few days.

The fighting also came close to our hospital: to ask all parties to respect the facility and ensure that it was not endangered, we distributed a flyer with the hospital’s coordinates on the streets of the city and through social media.

Even during the hottest days of the offensive, the nonstop work of our Afghan and international staff allowed us to continue treating the wounded without interruption.

In total, we provided more than 7,300 surgeries and more than 25,000 visits in Lashkar-gah in 2021.

EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre in Lashkar-Gah is funded by the European Union

VIDEO
Afghanistan: What We're Leaving Behind

November 2014. As international troops leave Afghanistan, violence and fighting continue to spread. The number of civilian casualties is increasing steadily to this day. From our Lashkar-gah hospital, Vice News’ Ben Anderson shows us the real cost of war (contains graphic images).

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