22-year-old Sharifa is one of the thousands of Afghan mothers struggling to overcome the hurdles that are posed by a healthcare system weakened by decades of war, poor facilities, and social and cultural barriers that are difficult to break.
At least six people were killed and 23 more, including two children, were injured this morning in a series of explosions near Kabul University and the Sakhi Shrine, around 5km from EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre for War Victims in the Afghan capital.
Last year, 26 people died in a similar attack on a mosque where locals were celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which falls on the first day of spring.
Five of the victims were brought to our hospital, including two children injured in the attack, aged 8 and 12.
The country had been experiencing an apparent truce when the attack occurred.
According to the latest report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 3,804 civilians were killed in 2018, the highest figure recorded since the beginning of the war. Of these, a record 927 were children. Last year, nearly 11,000 civilians were killed or injured.
More than half of these attacks occurred in the capital, where EMERGENCY’s surgical centre has been offering treatment to victims of war since 2001. As many as 28 attacks claimed 1,686 civilian casualties (554 deaths and 1,132 injuries), an increase of 5% compared to 2017.