Posts tagged afghanistan




 

Photo © Mikhail Galustov
Sardar (sitting), 34, is from Nahri Saraj district of Helmand province. After a car accident, he received poor treatment at a local health facility during which a doctor removed synovial liquid from his knee. It has left him unable to walk and in need of complex, costly surgery available only in Kabul. Even if he can borrow the money to pay for the procedure, there is no guarantee that it will work. Read more: http://bit.ly/1et7DTh

Photo © Mikhail Galustov

Sardar (sitting), 34, is from Nahri Saraj district of Helmand province. After a car accident, he received poor treatment at a local health facility during which a doctor removed synovial liquid from his knee. It has left him unable to walk and in need of complex, costly surgery available only in Kabul. Even if he can borrow the money to pay for the procedure, there is no guarantee that it will work. Read more: http://bit.ly/1et7DTh

Photo © Mikhail Galustov

Najibullah (left) waits for a check-up at MSF’s Kunduz Trauma Centre in northern Afghanistan. The father of 11 was shot in the leg when a firefight broke out near the construction site he was working on. The police closed off the surrounding roads and his relatives couldn’t take him to the hospital until the fighting stopped the next morning. When he finally reached a doctor, he had lost a great deal of blood and was in a critical condition. He is one of many Afghans who cannot access emergency medical care because security problems make it to dangerous to travel at night. Injuries like Najibullah’s get much worse; his leg had to be amputated. Women enduring complicated labor suffer excessively, and sometimes die. Families can only keep “death watches” over relatives overnight, hoping they survive until morning, when it might be safer to try to reach a doctor. Read more: http://bit.ly/1et7DTh

Photo © Mikhail Galustov

Najibullah (left) waits for a check-up at MSF’s Kunduz Trauma Centre in northern Afghanistan. The father of 11 was shot in the leg when a firefight broke out near the construction site he was working on. The police closed off the surrounding roads and his relatives couldn’t take him to the hospital until the fighting stopped the next morning. When he finally reached a doctor, he had lost a great deal of blood and was in a critical condition. He is one of many Afghans who cannot access emergency medical care because security problems make it to dangerous to travel at night. Injuries like Najibullah’s get much worse; his leg had to be amputated. Women enduring complicated labor suffer excessively, and sometimes die. Families can only keep “death watches” over relatives overnight, hoping they survive until morning, when it might be safer to try to reach a doctor. Read more: http://bit.ly/1et7DTh

Photo by © Andrea Bruce/Noor Images

A woman sits with her week-old child, who was born in this very same mud home where they live in a camp for displaced people on Kabul’s outskirts. The mother says she has been bleeding continually since the birth and still cannot stand. Without skilled medical help, women who deliver at home are at greater risk of illness or death if they face complications. Since the early 2000s, the population of Kabul has grown from three to five million people, with a constant flow of people arriving seeking safety or economic opportunity. Read more: http://bit.ly/1et7DTh

Photo by © Andrea Bruce/Noor Images

A woman sits with her week-old child, who was born in this very same mud home where they live in a camp for displaced people on Kabul’s outskirts. The mother says she has been bleeding continually since the birth and still cannot stand. Without skilled medical help, women who deliver at home are at greater risk of illness or death if they face complications. Since the early 2000s, the population of Kabul has grown from three to five million people, with a constant flow of people arriving seeking safety or economic opportunity. Read more: http://bit.ly/1et7DTh

Photo © Andrea Bruce/Noor Images

Chamangul’s mother uses her headscarf to fan away flies as her son Chamangul, 12, lies on a bed at the MSF-supported Ahmad Shah Baba hospital in eastern Kabul. He has the body of a boy half his age, but his head is swollen, wrapped in bandages. His mother brought him to MSF’s mobile clinic in Puli Charki, on Kabul’s outskirts, after being turned away from hospitals in the city. The MSF doctors say he suffers from an aggressive form of sarcoma that went untreated for too long and which has rotted most of his head, an ear and an eye. The doctors say they might have been able to help had they seen him earlier, but all they can do now is ease his pain. His mother is a widow who already lost two children to the same illness and now lives with her seven surviving children in a tent surrounded by other families displaced by violence in their home districts.

Photo © Andrea Bruce/Noor Images

Chamangul’s mother uses her headscarf to fan away flies as her son Chamangul, 12, lies on a bed at the MSF-supported Ahmad Shah Baba hospital in eastern Kabul. He has the body of a boy half his age, but his head is swollen, wrapped in bandages. His mother brought him to MSF’s mobile clinic in Puli Charki, on Kabul’s outskirts, after being turned away from hospitals in the city. The MSF doctors say he suffers from an aggressive form of sarcoma that went untreated for too long and which has rotted most of his head, an ear and an eye. The doctors say they might have been able to help had they seen him earlier, but all they can do now is ease his pain. His mother is a widow who already lost two children to the same illness and now lives with her seven surviving children in a tent surrounded by other families displaced by violence in their home districts.

From the series MSF in 2013:
“While we are treating an increasing number of patients … many more people cannot even make it to the hospitals … That’s why we want to go beyond our hospital walls and reach out to some of these isolated communities.”—Benoit De Gryse, Doctors Without Borders country representative in AfghanistanA three-year-old boy and his two-year-old sister injured in a bomb explosion were treated in MSF’s emergency room at Boost Hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. Photo © Francois Dumont

From the series MSF in 2013:

“While we are treating an increasing number of patients … many more people cannot even make it to the hospitals … That’s why we want to go beyond our hospital walls and reach out to some of these isolated communities.”
—Benoit De Gryse, Doctors Without Borders country representative in Afghanistan
A three-year-old boy and his two-year-old sister injured in a bomb explosion were treated in MSF’s emergency room at Boost Hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. Photo © Francois Dumont

Photo: MSF team negotiating with community leaders to start mobile clinics.  Afghanistan 2013. © Heru Sutanto Koerniawan.
MSF sets up its first mobile clinic in Afghanistan to increase the coverage of vaccinations and improve preventative healthcare. Read more on how the team set up and spread awareness about the clinic in Lara’s blog post.

Photo: MSF team negotiating with community leaders to start mobile clinics.  Afghanistan 2013. © Heru Sutanto Koerniawan.

MSF sets up its first mobile clinic in Afghanistan to increase the coverage of vaccinations and improve preventative healthcare. Read more on how the team set up and spread awareness about the clinic in Lara’s blog post.

Photo © Stefan Kruger
An injured child needs specialized neurosurgical care in #Afghanistan and the hospital is more than 200 miles away over bad roads and insecure areas. What do you do? http://bit.ly/14vssdE

Photo © Stefan Kruger

An injured child needs specialized neurosurgical care in #Afghanistan and the hospital is more than 200 miles away over bad roads and insecure areas. What do you do? http://bit.ly/14vssdE

Photo by Peter Casaer
"Today I saw the worst case of breast cancer I have ever seen"
"Sometimes, the seeming futility of this job overwhelms me. We see so many diseases – both chronic and acute – that we are unable to do anything about. When I considered coming to Afghanistan, I felt I was prepared to see malnutrition, wounded patients, trauma, etc. I did not realize the amount of chronic diseases and other conditions that we would be helpless to treat. At home, this woman would have had a mammogram and ultrasound when she first noticed a lump in her breast. She would have received free health care that would have, in all likelihood, saved her life. We have no chemotherapy, radiation therapy, mammography, or indeed oncologists here in Helmand [Afghanistan]."
Read more at http://blogs.msf.org/afghanistan/2013/06/what-if/

Photo by Peter Casaer

"Today I saw the worst case of breast cancer I have ever seen"

"Sometimes, the seeming futility of this job overwhelms me. We see so many diseases – both chronic and acute – that we are unable to do anything about. When I considered coming to Afghanistan, I felt I was prepared to see malnutrition, wounded patients, trauma, etc. I did not realize the amount of chronic diseases and other conditions that we would be helpless to treat. At home, this woman would have had a mammogram and ultrasound when she first noticed a lump in her breast. She would have received free health care that would have, in all likelihood, saved her life. We have no chemotherapy, radiation therapy, mammography, or indeed oncologists here in Helmand [Afghanistan]."

Read more at http://blogs.msf.org/afghanistan/2013/06/what-if/

MSF Logistician Ben King building kites with the community. Afghanistan 2013 © Ben King

"My vision of this country before I arrived saw kites flying everywhere, filling the air with the exuberance of small boys interacting with others far beyond the high walls of their own compounds. A kind of invisible communication that creates infinitely strong bonds between the people and their country. My visions were true when I arrived, but as the temperatures began to plummet, the kites, one by one, disappeared from the crystal clear skies. Finally, though, it was our chance to try our hand at it…

For now, I will enjoy watching them dance about as a beacon of hope for a brighter future for this ever colourful and complex land”

Read more from Ben’s blog and leave questions and comments below his post.

Usually we receive no warning of the imminent arrival of bomb blast victims. They normally arrive in a cloud of panic; chaotic screaming ensues and staff members run to man their posts. This time we are prepared. From the time of the phone call it should be twenty minutes before they arrive, not much time to ready the Emergency Room but I am surprised at how much gets done. We clear the resuscitation room and triage area, we prepare IV bags and bandages and then we prepare a queue of stretchers outside.
MSF doctor Stefan writes from Kunduz, Afghanistan, on treating people injured by IEDs and traffic accidents. Please leave your questions and comments for Stefan below his blog post.  
 Photo: Getting healthcare to people living in freezing conditions in temporary camps in Kabul © Ben King/MSF
Snowed InLogistician Ben describes the process in photos on the MSF Afghanistan blog. 
“These people live in incredibly difficult conditions in camps spread throughout Kabul. Surviving by their pure will to live, in deep snow and sub-zero conditions. MSF has started an emergency mission to provide basic healthcare services to some of these people who are not being helped out by other NGO’s. We are working in six camps within Kabul city so far and seeing around 60 patients each time we run free public clinics. This will continue until the worst of the winter weather is over and the small children get some respite from the cold at which time they can fully recover from their respiratory illnesses which is the major ailment that comes through our clinics.”

 Photo: Getting healthcare to people living in freezing conditions in temporary camps in Kabul © Ben King/MSF

Snowed In
Logistician Ben describes the process in photos on the MSF Afghanistan blog. 

These people live in incredibly difficult conditions in camps spread throughout Kabul. Surviving by their pure will to live, in deep snow and sub-zero conditions. MSF has started an emergency mission to provide basic healthcare services to some of these people who are not being helped out by other NGO’s. We are working in six camps within Kabul city so far and seeing around 60 patients each time we run free public clinics. This will continue until the worst of the winter weather is over and the small children get some respite from the cold at which time they can fully recover from their respiratory illnesses which is the major ailment that comes through our clinics.”

Photo: The gate of Ahmad Shah Baba Hospital in Kabul Afghanistan 2012 © MSF
Hospitality Lessons During a Mobile Clinic in Afghanistan
“You’re a brave man, coming here without arms,” the Malik told me halfway through lunch. I wondered why I would need any courage to eat some meat and bread, after all, the Malik—governmental leader of a town or community—had just finished a story to illustrate the concept of Pashtu hospitality.
During our briefing at a mobile clinic, he stopped us and invited us for tea to get to know each other a bit better. He hinted the tea could be taken in a tea shop next to the clinic, or at least this is how I interpreted his pointing of the chin towards to entry gate of the hospital. Two minutes later, however, we stepped into his car, and not into the tea shop, and sped away over the sandy road towards his house a few hundred meters away.
Carelessness from our side, you might wonder? On the contrary, in rural areas such as these, and at this moment in time, we feel more at ease. Receiving invitations to work in these communities is the best protection possible, as illustrated by the anecdote above. Afghan people judge you not only by what you do, but also by how you do it. Refusing the tea invitation would probably have been a mistake.

Photo: The gate of Ahmad Shah Baba Hospital in Kabul Afghanistan 2012 © MSF

Hospitality Lessons During a Mobile Clinic in Afghanistan

“You’re a brave man, coming here without arms,” the Malik told me halfway through lunch. I wondered why I would need any courage to eat some meat and bread, after all, the Malik—governmental leader of a town or community—had just finished a story to illustrate the concept of Pashtu hospitality.

During our briefing at a mobile clinic, he stopped us and invited us for tea to get to know each other a bit better. He hinted the tea could be taken in a tea shop next to the clinic, or at least this is how I interpreted his pointing of the chin towards to entry gate of the hospital. Two minutes later, however, we stepped into his car, and not into the tea shop, and sped away over the sandy road towards his house a few hundred meters away.

Carelessness from our side, you might wonder? On the contrary, in rural areas such as these, and at this moment in time, we feel more at ease. Receiving invitations to work in these communities is the best protection possible, as illustrated by the anecdote above. Afghan people judge you not only by what you do, but also by how you do it. Refusing the tea invitation would probably have been a mistake.

We first met Karim when he had sustained a severe head injury, he was comatose and from the start his survival was doubtful. Long story short: his family took him to a Neurosurgical centre in Pakistan when MSF could no longer help. Days later he returned but still needed some basic care and antibiotics, which MSF provided. He was discharged from MSF and walked out of the hospital with his family. I’m not saying that MSF saved his life nor that we can take full credit for the fortunate outcome; what I am saying is that it has been a privilege to be involved in his story. There are enough tragic stories in Kunduz, so when a case does turn out as well as Karim’s we are pleased (to say the least!)
The newest member of our Afghanistan blogging team, emergency doctor Stefan Kruger, talks about his favorite patient. Please leave your questions and comments for Stefan below his blog post. 
I leave with a strange feeling inside; this is something totally exceptional for me, to see a human body in this state [bones splintered, muscle crushed]. To understand the challenges faced by the surgeons and medical team with each case, to admire their skill, calmness and dedication to doing the best they possibly can for each and every patient. I take my hat off to them.

Afghanistan: Mobile Care in Kabul

The population of Kabul has tripled over the last 10 years. Some people arrive after fleeing conflict-torn areas for the relative safety of the capital, while others, pushed by poverty, are simply trying to make a living. Returnees from Pakistan and other provinces of Afghanistan have also made their way back to the city. For those living in makeshift settlements and camps, the harsh winter makes an already difficult situation even harder. In January 2013, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started running mobile clinics and nutritional screenings in six locations where hundreds of Afghans have settled.