MSF delays reopening Khost hospital
KABUL (PAN): While there is a pressing need for maternal healthcare in eastern Afghanistan, the Doctors without Borders (MSF) is not ready to reopen its maternity hospital in Khost province fearing security risks.
MSF does not feel safe to resume its medical services after an explosion inside the maternity ward that wounded seven people about five weeks ago.
“There is an enormous need for free, quality maternal healthcare in eastern Afghanistan and MSF deeply regrets that the current environment makes it impossible for us to continue the work we started,” said Benoit De Gryse, MSF Country Representative in Afghanistan.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the independent medical humanitarian organisation (Médecins Sans Frontières), decided to postpone reopening of the Khost maternity hospital.
“Nothing is more important to us than safety in our hospitals. As a medical organisation and guests in Khost, we have to rely on other actors to ensure we can treat patients without threat of violence.
“We call on all relevant actors in Khost to do what they can to make sure the environment is safe enough for us to return,” he added.
Before MSF suspended activities, its medical staff at the maternity performed more than 600 deliveries and helped 100 women with complications during their pregnancies, added the statement.
MSF will continue to monitor the situation in Khost and carry out consultations with the local community.
“It was a difficult decision to suspend our work in Khost, where we have invested so much resources and more than 100 staff are working, but unfortunately circumstances make it impossible to continue our work. It is unacceptable that the lives of our patients should be put at risk when they are seeking healthcare,” said De Gryse.
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