13 May 20 13 May 20

Afghanistan: MSF condemn senseless attack on pregnant women and babies

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is devastated after yesterday’s sickening attack on pregnant women, mothers and their babies at our maternity unit in Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul.

While pregnant women and babies were seeking healthcare, in one of the most vulnerable states in life, an unknown number of attackers stormed the maternity unit through a series of explosions and gunfire, lasting for hours.

The entrances to psychosocial unit and office.

The act of cowardly violence 

MSF condemns this senseless act of cowardly violence, which cost the lives of many people and deprived women and children in Kabul of a fundamental health care service, in a context where access to essential care is already limited. The maternity unit is located in an area of western Kabul with a population of more than 1.5 million people.

We mourn the loss of several patients and we have indications that at least one national colleague was also killed. For now, still with so much uncertainty, every effort is being made by our medical team to follow up on the new-borns in the maternity, to ensure the best possible care to our patients and to those injured, to provide psychological care to affected staff and to provide every necessary support to those bereaved.

The maternity ward in Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital, Kabul

Whilst fighting was on-going, one woman gave birth to her baby and both are doing well.

Our staff; midwives, doctors, cleaners, nurses, cooks, watchmen, and administrative staff provide invaluable services to women in need of maternal care, especially for those with complicated deliveries.

MSF stands in solidarity with the Afghan people

For the time being, medical activities in the maternity of Dasht-e-Barchi are suspended, but not closed. Patients were evacuated to surrounding hospitals and staff were brought to safety.

More than ever, MSF stands in solidarity with the Afghan people.

The new born unit in Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital, Kabul

MSF opened the 55-bed maternity unit in Dasht-e-Barchi Hospital in 2014. Since the beginning of the year, 5,401 babies were delivered at the maternity unit and 524 babies were treated in the newborn unit and kangaroo mother-care unit for critical care.