MSF trauma center in Kunduz is the only hospital of its kind in northeastern Afghanistan, providing healthcare services to people affected by conflict. (Photo: MSF)
A trauma center run by Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in northern Kunduz province has been witnessing huge rush of wounded patients in recent weeks as the clashes between Afghan security forces and insurgents intensify in many districts of the province.
According to MSF, which delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, their medical teams in Kunduz treated hundreds of patients directly wounded in the fighting in recent weeks, many of them women or children.
The majority of wounded patients admitted to the MSF trauma center came from Chahar Dara District, where security has alarmingly deteriorated in past two weeks.
However, if the latest reports are to be believed, the wounded patients in Kunduz have nowhere to go now as the MSF trauma center has been closed.
A hospital official, on the condition of anonymity, told Afghan Zariza that security forces ransacked the hospital accusing hospital authorities of treating wounded insurgents.
In a statement issued on Friday, MSF confirmed the incident and condemned what it termed the “violent intrusion by armed members of Afghan Special Forces” in Kunduz trauma center
Security forces, he said, threatened the hospital authorities, following which the hospital was closed for an indefinite period of time.
In a statement issued on Friday, MSF confirmed the incident and condemned what it termed the “violent intrusion by armed members of Afghan Special Forces” in Kunduz trauma center.
“The incident is an unacceptable breach of international humanitarian law, which protects medical services from attacks,” the statement reads.
“We are shocked by this incident,” said Dr. Bart Janssens, MSF’s Director of Operations. “Since it opened in 2011, Kunduz Trauma Center has been a place where all patients can receive free medical and surgical care safely. This serious event puts at risk the lives of thousands of people who rely on the center for urgent care.”
The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon after a unit of Afghan security forces entered the hospital, cordoned off the facility and began shooting in the air, according to MSF.
MSF claims that the security forces“physically assaulted” three MSF staff members and entered the hospital with weapons. They then proceeded to arrest three patients.
“Hospital staff tried their best to ensure continued medical care for the three patients, and in the process, one MSF staff member was threatened at gunpoint by two armed men. After approximately one hour, the armed men released the three patients and left the hospital compound,” reads the statement.
MSF trauma center in Kunduz is the only hospital of its kind in northeastern Afghanistan, providing healthcare services to people affected by conflict.
According to MSF, in 2014, more than 22,000 patients received care at the hospital and more than 5,900 surgeries were performed.
“In all conflicts where MSF works, we never take sides,” said Dr. Janssens. “Our doctors treat all people according to their medical needs and do not make distinctions based on a patient’s race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or political affiliation. Any injured or wounded person in need of urgent medical care will receive it at MSF's trauma center in Kunduz.”
MSF trauma center in Kunduz is the only hospital of its kind in northeastern Afghanistan, providing healthcare services to people affected by conflict
Security situation has alarmingly deteriorated in Kunduz province in recent months with insurgents launching a series of assaults on security installations and trying to capture many remote districts.
According to reports, many foreign insurgents – from Turkey, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan – are fighting against Afghan security forces in the province.
Currently, military operation is going on to regain control of Dasht e Archi district in Kunduz, which fell to Taliban two weeks ago.
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