Orientering om arbejdet i Afghanistan (engelsk)

9. november, 2001

Orientering om Læger uden Grænsers arbejde i Afghnaistan (på engelsk)

Despite the renewed intensity of the fighting and the very real limitations on movement and supply within Afghanistan, MSF´s work within the country through the national staff still continues. The projects in the 6 displaced people´s camps around Mazar-I-Sharif are still providing primary care in clinics, sanitation and shelter. In one case, Camp 65, MSF staff have just completed 50 mud houses with a target of 500. There are also supplementary feeding centers. A sixth has just opened and they are now serving 500 children and 200 pregnant and lactating women.

Contact from outside with our Afghan staff is limited and they are clearly working under very difficult conditions. Even so, they have managed to conduct an assessment of an area where the position of a large number of displaced people had deteriorated since we were last able to visit before September 11th. They found 6,000 families in the very isolated Sar-I-Pul area south west of Mazar, near the complex front lines of the fighting . They had the most primitive shelter against the freezing early winter. And sanitation was clearly a growing problem. There were respiratory infections and diarrhea. MSF had previously planned a clinic and latrines. Now the team will also do a proper nutritional survey and a measles vaccination campaign.

Further south, around Herat, there is also MSF work continuing. Paediatrics in the hospital and theraputic feeding are still underway. Similarly, in Badghis, the supplementary feeding and outpatient work is carrying on.

Not everywhere has survived the growing chaos and insecurity. Some projects have closed because it is simply too dangerous for the staff be there. Others have been affected by looting. And all have been limited by the absence of expatriate volunteers and by the restrictions on supply.

MSF volunteers have been moving back to work in the Panshir Valley, held by the Northern Alliance forces near the front line with the Taleban. They are now supporting the work of our national staff in Gulbahar and Rokha hospitals and two clinics. The outpatients department at Gulbahar has around 140 people per day.

Elsewhere in the Northern Alliance areas, projects in Takhar and Badakhshan are stepping up their activities. A charter plane has delivered 20 tons of medicine and equipment for the area. A new mobile clinic has just started work in the Khoja Budhein region. And everywhere is stocking up for the difficult snow conditions.

Afghan refugees who have struggled to the borders are also getting medical care, water and sanitation from MSF teams continuing the work in the big Jalozai camp near Peshawar and now in the new Killi Faizo settlement to the south near Chaman. MSF staff there have heard refugees talking about the most frightening journeys. Many have come from Kandahar and have been very close to the intensive bombing. They remember the ground shaking, some homes being hit, looting and armed men seeking shelter. In the camp, MSF is doing vaccinations and providing basic healthcare and sanitation for some 2,200 people.