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MSF seeks security before reopening hospital

MSF seeks security before reopening hospital

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Nov 09, 2015 - 14:20

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): The Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) -- also known as Doctors Without Borders -- on Tuesday said it could not reopen its hospital in northern Kunduz province.

On October 3, 30 people including a dozen MSF staff and patients, were killed in a US airstrike, which left another 37 wounded. The building of the trauma centre was burnt following the bombing.

Guilhem Molinie, the medical aid group’s country representative in Afghanistan, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The MSF hospital has been heavily damaged and is no longer operational since Saturday October 3.”

He said thousands of people had been left without access to emergency care at a time they needed it most. The MSF was “very worried” that existing services would not be sufficient to cover the trauma care needs in northern Afghanistan.

“Until we understand what happened and we have some assurances that this unacceptable attack cannot happen again, MSF cannot reopen its Kunduz Trauma Centre and put its staff at risk. Our staff and patients must be secure,” the official stressed.

Two days back, the medical charity assured residents of Kunduz of reactivating the hospital in the provincial capital, which fell to Taliban on September 25. But the city was recaptured during a two-week clearing operation.

Acting Governor Hamdullah Danishi said a day earlier MSF representatives had assured him of reopening their hospital. MSF will follow the contract it has signed with the government.

Public Health Director Dr. Saad Mukhtar had previously said the MSF hospital was bombed as a result of misinformation given to security forces that Taliban militants were being treated there.

However, Danishi said: “I told MSF hospital representatives that criminals were under treatment in the hospital, but we do not criticise it because it is MSF policy.”

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