Afghanistan: Patient Numbers Falling in Helmand as Intensifying Conflict Restricts Access

08/12/2016
map showing Afghanistan

As fighting moves into districts surrounding Helmand’s provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, sick and injured people are struggling to reach Boost hospital, a 300-bed facility run by MSF in partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Health.

Over the past decade, Helmand province has consistently seen clashes between government and opposition forces. It is one of the principle barriers for people seeking life-saving healthcare.

“The intensification and proximity of fighting is clearly limiting access to the hospital,” said Guilhem Molinie, MSF's Country Representative in Afghanistan. “In the immediate aftermath of fighting, one in four patients are currently unable to reach our Emergency Room.”

Patients report that roads are blocked and checkpoints are delaying reaching the hospital.

In August, an average of 25 patients per day, mostly children under five, have been hospitalized in the malnutrition ward. This is significantly fewer than usual for this time of year.

This article continues on the MSF website at http://www.msf.org/en/article/20160812-afghanistan-patient-numbers-falling-helmand-intensifying-conflict-restricts-access.