Afghanistan VII

Civilian Toll, October 2010

Fighting continues to rage throughout Afghanistan between Coalition troops and insurgent forces. Its impact on the civilian population is increasingly severe.

The number of war casualties taken to Mirwais Regional Hospital in Kandahar for treatment is hitting record highs. The hospital registered almost twice as many new patients with weapon-related injuries in August and September 2010 as during the same months last year – close to 1,000 compared with just over 500 during the same period in 2009.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg, as those who suffer other sorts of injuries or contract disease as an indirect result of the conflict far outnumber weapon-wounded patients,” said Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Kabul. Every day, there are mothers who bring their sick children to hospital too late because they are afraid to travel or are held up by roadblocks, and relatives who take patients home before their treatment is completed.

  • A man whose house was destroyed when their village was bombed. Kate Holt.
  • A young boys stands in the doorway of the OPD room in which a man has just been admitted as Dead on Arrival. Kate Holt.
  • A medic holds up a death certificate on which is written the cause of death as "Big Wounds" in an OPD room. Kate Holt.
  • A boy who fractured his leg while running from the scene of a shooting waits with his mother. Kate Holt.
  • Akhtar Mohammed, who received a gun shot wound while driving his truck through a street in Kandahar City. Kate Holt.
  • A woman sits with her child who was suffering from severe diarreah in the paediatric unit of Mirwais Hospital. Kate Holt.
  • Noman, 7 years old, and who suffers from the rare blood disease, Thalassemia, patiently waits while he has a blood transfusipn. Kate Holt.
  • 24 year old Bibi lies on the floor of the maternity unit in Mirwais Hospital. Kate Holt.
  • Arepa a little girl who has been suffering from diarreah and malnurishment for a year. Kate Holt.
  • An elderly man who lost both his legs in an IED blast near Zhari District of Kandahar. Kate Holt.
  • A taxi arrives with some war wounded patients to the ICRC compound in Kandahar City. Kate Holt.
  • Taj Mohammed was badly injured in the leg when a bomb exploded in Mirwais Mina. Kate Holt.
  • Women cover themselves in burqas as they wait in the maternity ward of Mirwais Hospital. Kate Holt.
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  • Aisha, who is nine months pregnant, was shot through the neck when fighting broke out in her village. Kate Holt.
  • An elderly man whose house was destroyed when a plane bombed their village. Kate Holt.
  • A boy practices walking with his prosthetic legs, after he lost both in an IED explosion. Kate Holt.
  • Zulmia sits with her eight year old son Mohammed who is in a coma after contracting meningitis. Kate Holt.
  • Farhad, who is 14 years old contracted polio as a child and is now receiving assistance. Kate Holt.
  • An elderly man sits at the end of a bed in which is son lies after being admitted to the OPD room. Kate Holt.