Past updates on MSF work in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover

22-29 August:


Increase of patients in Herat clinic

In Herat MSF provides outpatient care, treatment for non-communicable diseases and sexual and reproductive services the Kahdestan clinic. We have seen an increase in patients as other clinics in the area have suspended their activities. The MSF run ITFC at Herat regional hospital is receiving an increasing number of malnourished children, 36% more than last week. The third wave of COVID-19 is evidently on a downward trend with MSF screening fewer possible COVID-19 patients. We have also referred only a small number of patients to our COVID-19 treatment centre as we see fewer severe cases in need of oxygen treatment.  

From 23-29 August 

  • The Kahdestan clinic triaged 3,738 patients and carried out over 2,000 consultations. Children less than 5 years accounted for over 25% of all consultations, mostly for acute watery diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections  
  • Over 60 new ITFC admissions for the second week in a row 


Trauma care in Kunduz

The situation in Kunduz is calm although the city is more empty than before. On Monday 16 August we moved all our patients from the 25 bed Kunduz Emergency Trauma Unit (KETU) that was set up in our office space in the midst of the heavy fighting, to the new Kunduz Trauma Centre (KTC) which had been under construction since 2018. The KTC opened with 30 beds initially to start and one operating theatre. .  

We are now mostly seeing two types of patients: people injured in road traffic accidents and people injured by the fighting who have complications. Since some patients fled and then returned to Kunduz, MSF medics are treating patients who were first treated in other hospitals which can sometimes make it more difficult to see what treatment was done before and what still needs to be done. Many people are injured in road traffic accidents and suffer head trauma injuries. We do not have the capacity to provide neurosurgery and the other facilities in the area that would normally have some neurological services are not providing that service again yet; this is a stark illustration of the gaps in healthcare that have long existed, and are as acute as ever now.  

From 22 - 28 August  

  • 151 patients triaged 
  • 59 procedures performed in our operating theatre, 41 for debridements 
  • 164 outpatient consultations  


Accessing maternity care in Khost

Our activities continue in the maternity unit in Khost, and in the eight supported comprehensive health centres (CHCs). In July we assisted 1,450 births in the Khost maternity hospital and over 870 in the CHCs.

Despite the end of the conflict which, except for clashes in peripheral districts was resolved through negotiations in Khost province, markets, local transportation systems and many private clinics are not fully functioning. Some may be staying at home to give birth, sometimes because they were unsure if health facilities were still open.  

The MSF maternity normally focuses on complicated cases but decided to expand its admission criteria to ensure safe maternal and neonatal healthcare. MSF treats patients from Khost city as well as from remotely located communities.  

From 22-28 August 

  • 440 admissions  (62 per day) 
  • 373 deliveries ( (53 per day) 
  • 45 babies admitted into our neonatal ward 


Displaced people in Kandahar

During the fighting, MSF was able to continue its care for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) outpatients by providing remote consultations and buffer stocks of medication to avoid them having to cross frontlines to access care). TB care is continuing today and we have a small number of inpatients in our DR-TB centre. At Mirwais Regional Hospital, MSF is screening patients for TB.  

The Haji camp where 5,000 people were staying is now largely empty. Our teams are aiming to relocate a clinic to a location closer to our TB centre, to continue providing healthcare to children under five. Before we stopped working in the Haji camp, the main health issues we saw were diarrhoea, upper respiratory tract infections, anaemia, and eye and skin infections.

From 22-28 August: 

  • 33 DR-TB outpatient consultations for follow up and contact tracing; 4 DR-TB in patients receiving treatment in our TB centre.  
  • 131 patients screened for TB at Mirwais Regional Hospital.  

Addressing a spectrum of needs in Lashkar Gah

The situation in Lashkar Gah is now calm, and people who delayed seeking medical help whilst there was active fighting are coming for care. Over the past few days, the Emergency Room has been full with many people presenting with respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems and trauma related injuries related to the fighting and also road traffic accidents. We are seeing a large number of patients due to other facilities not being fully functional and because people can also now reach us from districts outside the city. Some days in the past week we have seen over 800 patients in our emergency room, and all 300 beds are full of inpatients.  

From 22-28 August: 

  • 3,687 patients received consultations in our emergency room  
  • 242 children  admitted to hospital  
  • 185 surgical interventions