We heard bombing from the hospital throughout the night and the morning, plus small arms fire, machine guns, snipers and artillery
After 11 days of clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban, fighting continues in Helmand province. 35,000 people are estimated to have been displaced so far.
“Since 11 October, we have hospitalised 118 patients and are working tirelessly to treat everyone who arrives at our hospital. We remain open and we are ready to face this crisis,” declared Marco Puntin, EMERGENCY’s Afghanistan Programme Coordinator.
Last Friday, the violence seemed to have reduced. But it soon resumed again from Monday 19 October onwards.
“We have admitted 50 patients since Monday, 5 of whom were dead on arrival. We took advantage of the few days that were relatively quiet to regroup and free up beds. It means that we are now able to receive anyone who needs to be treated,” Puntin reassures.
Despite international calls for a ceasefire, the conflict had almost reached the city of Lashkar-Gah yesterday, with fighting raging in the nearby village of Bolan, 5km from our hospital.
In addition to Helmand, clashes have also intensified in the provinces of Badakhshan, Kunduz, Farah and Kandahar.
“With the large-scale resumption of the conflict and the talks in Doha appearing to have stalled, the prospect of peace still appears to be a long way off,” concluded Puntin.
EMERGENCY is an independent, neutral organisation, founded in 1994 to offer free, high-quality medical and surgical treatment to victims of war, landmines and poverty. Since then EMERGENCY has treated over 11 million people: one every minute. EMERGENCY promotes a culture of peace, solidarity and respect for human rights.