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Afghanistan – One Year On

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Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan – One Year On

© Ton Koene

Médecins Sans Frontières started working again in Afghanistan in October 2009, after a five-year absence following the assassination of five colleagues in Badghis province in June 2004.  Médecins Sans Frontières’ return was motivated by an overall worsening in healthcare provision as the country became once again engulfed by war. The Afghan population has been trapped for years in conditions of poverty and a general lack of access to medical treatment, particularly to secondary health care. In addition, due to growing insecurity and ongoing conflict, people in need often have to travel hundreds of miles through extremely dangerous areas, sometimes outside of Afghanistan, in order to reach a health structure.

Médecins Sans Frontières now has medical activities in Boost Hospital, in Helmand’s provincial capital, Lashkargah and a district hospital, Ahmed Shah Baba, located in east Kabul. In both hospitals, Médecins Sans Frontières provides medicine and medical materials, and has expatriate and national health staff working together with the existing hospital staff to ensure all medical care provided is of good quality and free of charge. more

Afghanistan: Healthcare in Helmand

© Ton Koene

Photojournalist Ton Koene traveled to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in June 2010 to visit the Médecins Sans Frontières project in the capital, Lashkargah. more

‘Health Needs Will Only Increase’

© Ton Koene

One year after Médecins Sans Frontières started working again in Afghanistan, Country Representative Michiel Hofman highlights some of the choices, challenges, and sheds light on the way forward for Médecins Sans Frontières in the country. more

‘Caught in conflict’

© Ton Koene

For this family a hospital room is the only safe place to be. more

'For Patients to Feel Safe and to Be Safe'

Country Representative Michiel Hofman explains why the independence of aid in a war is in the best interest of the patient. more