Afghanistan: MSF treats victims of bomb blast in central Kunduz

September 10, 2012

Afghanistan: MSF treats victims of bomb blast in central Kunduz © Michael Goldfarb

10 September 2012 – Following a major explosion in the capital of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan on the afternoon of 10 September, 37 people were received at the surgical hospital run by the international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Thirteen had such severe wounds that they were dead on arrival.

“The explosion was close to the hospital, and the patients arrived within minutes,” said Anna Halford, MSF’s field coordinator in Kunduz. “Handling such incidents is a race against time.”

Fourteen patients were stabilised, treated and sent home, while nine were admitted to the hospital in need of further care, one of whom later died in surgery. The majority of patients had blast-related injuries including fractures, head traumas and abdominal injuries.

“A key part of our response is launching a mass casualty plan immediately – this allows medical staff to rapidly identify and prioritise patients’ medical needs based on a few vital signs,” said Anna Halford.

MSF has been running a surgical hospital in Kunduz since August 2011, providing emergency surgery and follow-up treatment for people wounded in the conflict and those suffering from life-threatening injuries. Hundreds of patients have been treated in the hospital since it opened.

In all locations where MSF works in Afghanistan, a strict no-weapons policy is implemented to ensure the safety and security of patients.


MSF teams also work in Ahmed Shah Baba hospital in Kabul and Boost hospital in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. In both locations, MSF works in all wards of the hospitals providing free medical care. MSF plans to re-open a maternity hospital in Khost province after suspending activities there earlier in the year.

For its work in Afghanistan, MSF relies solely on private donations, and does not accept any government funding

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