In over 40 years, war in Afghanistan has caused one and a half million deaths, hundreds of thousands of wounded and disabled, in addition to more than four million refugees.
The most recent war, which began in October 2001, continues to injure, kill, and destroy. Even when the conflicts end, their legacy still resonates: the widespread availability of firearms, countless buried landmines, and unexploded devices continue to kill and maim children and adults alike. Most of the time, these victims are civilian. Others are victims of a modern day hazard: road traffic accidents. Unofficial figures speak of five children per day killed in road accidents in or around Kabul.
Malnutrition, insufficient access to safe water, outbreaks of tuberculosis and malaria increase the pressures on an already inefficient national health system.
Since December 1999, Emergency has treated over 4,013,000 people (as of June 30, 2014) in Afghanistan. Emergency’s involvement in Afghanistan began with the conversion of a former barracks in to a surgical centre for war victims. The Emergency Medical and Surgical Centre of Anabah, in the mountainous Panjshir region, opened in December 1999.
Expanding their presence, in 2000 Emergency started working in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, controlled by the Taliban at the time. The Surgical centre in Kabul, which started its clinical activities in April 2001, was built in the renovated structure of a former nursery school which had been hit by a rocket, killing five children.
As the 2001 war escalated, Emergency opened a Surgical Centre for war victims in Lashkar-gah. The centre is the only free specialised facility in Helmand province, which has been at the centre of the Afghan conflict in the most recent years.
The Surgical Centre is linked 24/7 to 6 First Aid Posts in the nearby villages of Grishk, Garmsir, Marjia, Sangin, Musa Qala and Urmuz.
Maternity and Gynaecology Centre
and other projects
Emergency’s work in Afghanistan is not linked only to surgery In June 2003, Emergency opened a Maternity and Gynaecology Centre, adjacent to the Medical and Surgical Centre in the village of Anabah, in the Northern Panjshir Valley. This facility provides free-of-charge, qualified assistance in an area with one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. The centre deals with an average of 130 births per month.
To guarantee assistance to the population living in the most remote areas, Emergency created a network of Primary Health Centres equipped for antenatal and post-partum care. Furthermore, to provide some assistance to the many women who still prefer to give birth at home, a Childbirth Education Programme was initiated in late 2005, with the distribution of sanitary kits to improve hygiene and prevent infection.
Emergency’s presence in Afghanistan has enabled it to gain an understanding of what the actual needs there are. Often following specific requests made by local authorities, Emergency’s activities in Afghanistan have been widened. The needs of the population led Emergency to work in areas that are not strictly connected to war surgery. Emergency’s additional projects include the opening of a workshop for the production of rugs aimed at promoting the economic independence of women, the establishment of a social programme to help war widows, and an initiative to renovate an Anabah school.
How does Emegency work?
Emergency provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to the victims of war, landmines and poverty and promotes a culture of peace, solidarity and respect for human rights.
Over 90% of funds raised for Emergency are used to this end.
And over 80% of these funds come from private individuals, businesses, and foundations. The remaining 20% comes from international agencies and governments in the countries where we work, who have decided to support our work.
How can you help?
Run for Emergency UK
In addition to having runners in the London Marathon and the Silverstone half-marathon, Emergency UK still has places for runners in the Bupa 10k in London on Monday 25th May 2015. If you’re interested, get your running shoes on and get in touch with us before all our places go! You can email us at email@example.com
Organise a volunteer event
From bake sales to craft stalls, aperitivos to dinner parties — be creative! We love to see our volunteers taking the initiative and running events. If you have an idea in mind get in touch with us to discuss it at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come along to our next volunteers meeting on the Wednesday 4th February at: Can Mezzanine, 49–51 East Road, Old Street, London, N1 6AH