In Lashkar-Gah, Admissions Are Dominated by Road Traffic Accidents

On Wednesday 21 February, EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre in Lashkar-Gah received 13 patients after a terrible road traffic accident in Helmand. Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare occurrence in Afghanistan.

The Helmand region was once dominated by fighting, and our Surgical Centre was almost exclusively dedicated to treating victims of war. Now, civilian trauma patients make up more than 80% of admissions in Lashkar-Gah – and most are injured in road traffic accidents.


Since the withdrawal of international troops nearly 2.5 years ago, security conditions in Afghanistan have improved. Areas and roads previously restricted by fighting are now accessible, increasing mobility across the country. However, road safety has not increased at the same rate, putting pedestrians, motorists and passengers at risk.

In January 2024, 218 patients were admitted to EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre in Lashkar-Gah after road traffic accidents. More than half were under 18 years old. In contrast, 50 patients were admitted with violent injuries in the same period: 25 from stabbings, 18 from gunshot wounds, and 7 from shrapnel injuries.

In a country where the public health system struggles to meet even basic needs and 97% of the population live below the poverty line, a major trauma requiring surgery can have devastating financial consequences. That’s why EMERGENCY has been providing free, high-quality care in Lashkar-Gah since 2004: because everyone has the right to be treated.


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