Conflict in Afghanistan has caused over one and a half million deaths and hundreds of thousands of people have been left wounded or disabled in the last 40 years. In addition, more than four million people have been displaced from their homes.

Despite the decreased numbers of international troops operating in the region and the idea that has taken root in the West--that the war in Afghanistan is over-- the widespread availability of firearms, landmines, unexploded devices and terrorist attacks continue to maim and kill civilians. This lack of safety deeply affects the population by impeding social and infrastructural normalization. Additionally, the last 40 years of war have destroyed the local economy and education system.

On top of this, insufficient access to safe water and disease outbreaks increase the pressures on an already struggling national health system.

Since December 1999, EMERGENCY has treated over 4,600,000 people (as of June 30, 2015) in Afghanistan. We have built and managed a Surgical and Medical Center in the Panjshir Valley, Maternity Center in the Panjshir Valley, Surgical Center in Kabul, Surgical Center in Lashkar-Gah, network of First Aid Posts (FAPs) and Primary Health Clinics (PHCs), and a program of medical assistance in the largest prisons in the country and in local orphanages.

Afghanistan/Anabah Surgical and Medical Center

EMERGENCY's first medical facility in Afghanistan was in Anabah.

Program Data:

Location: Anabah, Panjshir Valley
Start of clinical activities: December 1999
Activities: war surgery, emergency surgery, internal medicine, and pediatrics
Bed capacity: 56
Inpatient: 2 operating rooms, 4 inpatient wards, intensive care unit
Outpatient: Emergency room, outpatient clinic
Support Services: Laboratory and blood bank, X-ray department, facility for physical therapy, pharmacy
National staff: 239
Outpatient consultations: 293,836
Admissions: 38,495
Surgical operations: 24,315
(Data correct as of December 2015)

The EMERGENCY Surgical and Medical Center of Anabah, in the mountainous Panjshir region, was the first EMERGENCY facility in Afghanistan. In 1999 EMERGENCY converted a former barracks into a surgical center for war victims. Over time, the Surgical Center’s admission criteria expanded and now includes emergency surgery, trauma care, and elective surgery. With the opening of the pediatric wards in 2003 and internal medicine wards in 2006, the Center became the medical and surgical referral hospital for the entire Panjshir Valley.

EMERGENCY has also created a network of 18 First Aid Posts (FAPs) and Primary Health Centers (PHCs) to serve the Salang Pass and the Panjshir Valley region. Patients in need of hospitalization or further evaluation are transported to the Surgical and Medical Center by EMERGENCY’s ambulance service.

EMERGENCY’s Medical and Surgical Center in Anabah has been recognized as a national training center for specialization pediatrics and surgery. In 2014, EMERGENCY launched a training program for specialization in pediatrics. The program will last three years, and combines classroom based and practical training in pediatrics. Additionally, there are currently seven surgery residents training at the Center in Anabah.

Afghanistan/Anabah Maternity Center

As many as 500 babies are born each month in our Maternity Center.

Program Data:

Location: Anabah, Panjshir Valley
Start of clinical activities:June 2003
Activities: Obstetrics and gynecology, neonatal care
Bed capacity: 56
Inpatient: Operating room, neonatal intensive care unit, 2 inpatient wards, delivery room, nursery
Outpatient: Outpatient ob-gyn clinic
Support Services: Ultrasound.
National staff: 62
Patients Treated: 263,423
Children born in the Center: 32,537
(Data correct as of December 31, 2015)

In 2003 EMERGENCY opened a Maternity Center in Anabah, Afghanistan, to provide prenatal, gynecological, obstetric, and neonatal care to the population of the Panjshir Valley and the surrounding provinces.

The Center provides free-of-charge, high-quality healthcare in an area with one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. As many as 500 babies are now born every month at the Maternity Center – that is almost 17 babies each day. The Center’s services are in high demand, but not only from local women; 77% of patients admitted come from outside the local province of Panjshir. In addition, the number of newborn babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit has been steadily increasing in recent years; currently there is an average of 170 admissions each month.


For every 100,000 live births in Afghanistan, about 400 mothers will die. Though this maternal mortality ratio is a fraction of its earlier levels, it is still one of the highest in the world. The tragedy is that most of these deaths are preventable. One of the primary reasons they continue to occur is because women do not have access to specialized maternal healthcare. That’s why EMERGENCY’s Maternity Center is open 24/7, and is always free-of-charge.

To provide access to women living in more remote areas, EMERGENCY has also created a network of First Aid Posts (FAPs) and Primary Health Clinics (PHCs) spread over the Panjshir Valley and the surrounding provinces. Through these, international and national midwives monitor pregnancies of local women, and refer those who are in need of further evaluation to the Maternity Center. These patients are transported in EMERGENCY’s ambulances, which operate around-the-clock. This network guarantees prompt, high-quality medical assistance to pregnant women and their babies living in remote areas. In 2015, over 5,800 consultations were performed in the FAPs and PHCs, and 590 women were referred to EMERGENCY’s Maternity Center in Anabah.

Furthermore, to provide assistance to the many women who still prefer to give birth at home, a Childbirth Education Program was initiated in late 2005 with the distribution of sanitary kits to improve hygiene and prevent infection.


EMERGENCY’s Maternity Center in Anabah is more than just a hospital, it is also a place for empowering local women. The 62 national staff employed and trained at the Maternity Center are exclusively women: 27 nurses, 21 midwives, 2 junior gynecologists and 12 non-medical staff. Our national staff are trained and supervised by international staff, who provide them with theoretical and practical training. The Maternity Center provides training in midwifery and nursing, and has been recognized as a national training center for specialization in gynecology by the Afghan Ministry of Health.


In order to accommodate the constantly increasing numbers of deliveries and admissions at the Maternity Center, EMERGENCY is expanding the Maternity Center. The final goal is to have the capacity for 7,000 deliveries per year, with a monthly average of about 600.

The building is being constructed in a sustainable fashion, using locally sourced materials, employing Afghan tradesmen, and contributing to the region’s economy.

This expansion will not only increase the Center’s capacity to provide prenatal, gynecological, obstetric and neonatal care to the population of Panjshir Valley and the surrounding provinces. It will also facilitate the activities of the professional training of Afghan residents coming from both the Panjshir Valley and any other Afghan region, by providing a new guesthouse for them to stay in.

Afghanistan/Kabul Surgical Center

Afghanistan is still one the world’s most heavily land-mined countries.

Program Data:

Location: Kabul
Start of clinical activities:April 2001
Activities: War surgery and landmine victim
Bed capacity: 120
Inpatient: 3 operating rooms, intensive care unit, sub-intensive care unit, 6 surgical inpatient wards
Outpatient: emergency room, outpatient department, physical therapy
Support Services: laboratory, blood bank, CT scan and xray, pharmacy, children's room and playground
National staff: 323 medical and non-medical staff
Outpatients: 102,969
Inpatients: 36,856
Surgical operations: 48,888
(Data correct as of December 31, 2015)

EMERGENCY started working in Kabul in 2000, renovating and expanding a former nursery school in the center of the capital. The structure, which had previously been hit by a rocket that killed five children, was turned into a Surgical Center for war victims and started its clinical activities in April 2001.

The Center expanded to include trauma surgery. However, since July 2010 the admissions criteria have been restricted to war surgery only in order to cope with the increase of war related admissions. In 2015, EMERGENCY completed an expansion of the Surgical Center, including the construction of a third operating room and addition of creation of a 14-bed sub-intensive care unit.

The Kabul Surgical Center is linked to EMERGENCY’s First Aid Posts (FAPs) in Andar, Gardez, Ghazni, Chark-Logar, Maydan Shahr, Mirbachakot, Pul-i-Alam, Sheikhabad, Tagab and Primary Health Clinics (PHCs) in Kabul and in the nearby provinces.

The Center also plays a key role in training surgical residents. Following a request from the World Health Organization in 2014, EMERGENCY organized training courses on triage and mass casualty management, trauma surgery management, and patient hospital management for over 200 health workers selected from across the country.

Afghanistan/Lashkar-Gah Surgical Centre

Over 30% of the admitted patients in Lashkar-Gah Surgical Center are under the age of 14.

Program Data:

Location: Lashkar-Gah (Helmand)
Start of clinical activities:September 2004
Activities: Surgery for war and landmine victims
Bed capacity: 90
Inpatient: 2 operating rooms, intensive care unit, surgical wards
Outpatient: Emergency department, outpatient department
Support Services: Physical therapy, radiology, laboratory and blood bank, pharmacy, classrooms, playroom
National staff: 245 medical and non-medical staff
Outpatients: 109,578
Inpatients: 27,423
Surgical operations: 35,483
(Data correct as of December 31, 2015)

In 2004, EMERGENCY opened a Surgical Center for war victims in Lashkar-Gah. The Center, named after the Italian journalist and pacifist Tiziano Terzani, is the only free specialized facility in an area – the Helmand province – where fighting and antipersonnel mines are still a very heavy threat for people living in the area.

The Surgical Center is linked 24/7 to our 6 First Aid Posts (FAPs) in the nearby villages of Grishk, Garmsir, Marjia, Sangin, Musa Qala and Urmuz.

The Ministry of Public Health has officially recognized the hospital as a Center for emergency and trauma surgery training.

Afghanistan/First Aid Posts and Primary Health Clinics

EMERGENCY runs a network of over 40 clinics to bring healthcare to remote areas in Afghanistan.

Program Data

Duab Prison: 694 patients examined and treated from 2001 to 2003.
Shebergan Prison: 13,338 patients examined and treated from May 2002 to June 2004.
Lashkar-Gah Prison: 1,880 patients examined and treated from February 2006 to December 2007.
Prisons in Kabul(Governmental Jail, Investigation Department, Female Jail, Pol-e-Charki, Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre, Transition Prison) 653,448 patients examined and treated as of June 30, 2015.
National staff: 27
Kabul area:Andar, Gardez, Ghazni, Chark-Logar, Maydan Shahr, Mirbachakot, Pul-iAlam, Sheikhabad, Tagab, male and female orphanages, Governor Jail, Investigation Jail, Female Jail, Juvenile Center, Poli Charki Jail.
Anabah area:Abdara, Ahangaran, Anabah, Anjuman, Changaram, Dara, Darband, Dasht-e-Rewat, Gulbahar, Kapisa, Khinch, Koklamy, Oraty, Peryan, Poli Sayad, Said Khil, Sangai Khan, Shutul.
Lashkar-Gah area: Garmsir, Grishk, Marjia, Sangin, Musa Qala, Urmuz
National staff:1-4* doctors, 3-6 nurses, 2 vaccinators, ambulance drivers and support staff
*Given the types of cases treated, the training level attained by medical staff, and the short distance from EMERGENCY hospitals, some FAPs and PHCs are only manned by nursing staff.
Inpatient: 2 operating rooms, intensive care unit, surgical wards
Outpatient: Emergency department, outpatient department
Referred to our hospitals: 64,118
(Data correct as of December 31, 2015)


EMERGENCY's approach to healthcare goes beyond just treatment.

EMERGENCY’s presence in Afghanistan has enabled it to gain an understanding of needs of local populations and often, following specific requests made by local authorities, EMERGENCY’s activities in Afghanistan have broadened. Additional projects have included leishmaniasis prevention, renovation of a school in Anabah and a social support program for widows in the Panjshir Valley.

Since 2000, EMERGENCY has been running a program of medical assistance to prisoners. EMERGENCY’s nurses provide basic medical treatment and facilitate the referral of surgical cases to EMERGENCY’s Kabul Surgical Center.

Due to the lack of healthcare facilities and hazardous road conditions, hundreds of thousands of people living in remote areas in Afghanistan lack access to healthcare. Since 1999, EMERGENCY established a network of 40 First Aid Posts (FAPs) and Primary Health Clinics (PHCs) to provide prompt treatment in remote areas and zones lacking healthcare facilities.

Local staff trained by EMERGENCY provide basic healthcare, first aid, and the referral of patients in serious conditions to EMERGENCY’s hospitals by an ambulance service which operates 24/7.