MSF treats scores of wounded in Kunduz
KABUL (Pajhwok): Following heavy clashes between Afghan security forces and armed opposition groups in northern Kunduz province, the Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) trauma centre treated 77 patients, including women and children in four days.
A statement from the MSF said on Saturday that majority of wounded patients admitted to the trauma centre came from Chardara district, around ten kilometres from Kunduz city, which has been engulfed by fighting since 20 June.
The bulk of patients had sustained bomb blast or gunshots wounds, with MSF surgeons treating severe abdominal, limb and head injuries. Active fighting has decreased since Wednesday, but the situation remains tense.
“Civilians have been caught up in the four days of intense fighting, with shells hitting homes,” says Heman Nagarathnam, MSF’s head of programs in northern Afghanistan. “On Monday, three women and three children from a village in Chardara district were admitted to MSF’s trauma centre suffering injuries after their home was hit overnight.”
Kunduz province has seen a significant increase in fighting since last year. This week’s influx of wounded follows another wave of violence in May, when MSF teams treated 204 war wounded patients in three weeks, the statement said.
Ongoing insecurity makes it extremely difficult for people to reach Kunduz city from Chardara district, particularly at night when there is a risk of being caught in crossfire, hitting landmines or being delayed at multiple checkpoints.
“Our team is able to assist patients who can make it to the centre, but we are very concerned for the people who cannot reach the city in time,” says Nagarathnam.
“MSF’s centre is the only facility in the whole north-eastern region of Afghanistan able to provide life- and limb-saving trauma care, so people have no choice but to risk the dangerous journey to reach us.”
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