Date Published: 2 January 2013

Médecins Sans Frontières reopens Khost maternity hospital (Afghanistan)

Health News from around the world.

The international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has resumed providing medical services at its maternity hospital in Khost Province, Afghanistan. Its activities there had been suspended following an explosion in the maternity hospital in April 2012 when a bomb exploded inside the facility, injuring seven people. It occurred only six weeks after MSF had opened its facility, where more than 600 women had already delivered babies.

The reopening follows the demonstration of strong support to MSF, and reassurance over several few months by the local community. Following the recommendations of a meeting, or jirga, held in August between MSF and key members of the Khost community, logistical work was performed to ensure the safety of patients, care takers and MSF staff.

An all-female team of Afghan medical staff, including doctors, midwives, and nurses has been recruited to work alongside female international medical colleagues, who provide high-quality medical care in the hospital.

" The hospital is ready to provide free, high-quality medical care for pregnant women, particularly those who cannot afford to pay for treatment and those suffering complicated pregnancies and deliveries," said Benoit De Gryse, MSF's country representative in Afghanistan.

During another meeting on 19 December, representatives from all districts of Khost Province, including prominent religious figures and scholars, confirmed their strong support for the continuation of MSF's activities.

" Support from the community and respect for the safety and security of patients, health facilities, and medical staff enable MSF to work in three other locations in Afghanistan and in more than 70 other countries," said De Gryse.

As in all MSF hospitals in Afghanistan, a strict no-weapons policy will be enforced to ensure the safety and security of patients.

Source: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), -

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