In Afghanistan, 2015 was the most deadly year for civilians since the beginning of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in 2009 compared to the amount of Afghan killed or wounded in this conflict. The number of combat victims in 2015 adds up to 11 002 people of which 3 545 died. Compared to the previous year, the number increased by 4% as it coincided with the withdrawal of the NATO troops at the end of 2014. The reason for this withdrawal is the intensification of the combat between the Taliban and the government as well as the shifting of these combats to more populated and urban zones, where suicide bombs and explosives cause dramatic human loses and more and more substantial damage.

In the east of the country, at the Pakistani border, combats are raging in the Kunar and Nangarhar provinces, mostly controlled by the Taliban. This violence causes many population movements as well as an increasing need in emergency aid. To address this issue, Première Urgence Internationale, present in Afghanistan since 1979, has set up specific programmes aimed at improving the abilities of health structures in trauma management.

Thanks to ECHO’s support, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, Première Urgence Internationale’s team has set up emergency preparedness activities in 41 health centres of the Kunar province since 2013. This measure is also working in four centres of the Nangarhar province since 2015.

The goal: improve the ability of the health system to take care of people affected by war-related physical and psychological trauma, especially by bullet wounds and those caused by bombings.

Thanks to theoretical and practical trainings dispensed by Première Urgence Internationale, the health staff is able to provide quality care and to index their patients in order to prepare a transfer to another health centre, depending on the seriousness of the pathologies. As part of the project, 319 health workers were trained. They were also given emergency kits to be able to rapidly provide first aid. Furthermore, seven health structures, chosen for their high patient ratio, were extended and given an ambulance, in order to cope with emergencies and the flow of patients. 

Thanks to ECHO’s support, 16 000 first aid interventions made it possible to treat more than 10 000 trauma cases these past two years. It is important to adapt emergency interventions in order to adequately assist the Afghan civil population.

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