Afghanistan: homemade bombs and improvised mines kill and maim civilians in south


AFGHANISTAN, 14 April 2010 (States News Service) -The following information was released by the International Committee of the Red Cross: Homemade bombs and improvised mines continue to pose a major threat to civilians in the south of Afghanistan.


(14.04.2010)

In the last few weeks, ICRC medical personnel at Mirwais regional hospital in Kandahar have observed a substantial increase in casualties. Humanitarian situation.
There has been a significant increase in the number of civilians in Helmand and Kandahar provinces injured by bombs and mines. The ICRC-supported Mirwais regional hospital in Kandahar has admitted a growing number of weapon-wounded patients arriving from Helmand province. Most were injured by homemade bombs or improvised mines. The number of patients admitted with such injuries in January and February has gone up by 30 to 40 per cent compared with the same period in 2009. Mirwais hospital treated 51 patients injured by the makeshift weapons in March alone, far above the average number for the month. Several large explosions rocked the city of Kandahar in the evening of 13 March. At around 9.30 p.m., the ICRC dispatched its surgical team to Mirwais hospital. At around 11.00 p.m., the ICRC responded to a request to send coffins and body bags to the hospital. At least 45 people, mainly civilians, died in the attacks, and more than 60 injured were admitted to Mirwais.
Improvised explosive devices are still preventing a return to normal life in the Marjah area of Helmand province following the major offensive there. Civilians continue to be injured and killed as a result of the widespread use of makeshift mines and bombs. Injured people are still seeking treatment at the ICRC's first-aid post in Marjah despite the end of major combat operations there. (…)
Visiting places of detention and restoring family links (…)
Health care
The ICRC supports two hospitals run by the Ministry of Public Health: Sheberghan in north of the country and Mirwais in Kandahar. Eighteen expatriate doctors, nurses, and administrators assist and train staff at Mirwais regional hospital. The organization also provides technical and financial support for 10 basic health clinics run by the Afghan Red Crescent. In addition, ICRC-supported Afghan Red Crescent volunteers provide local communities with information on safe water, hygiene, birth spacing, immunization and the dangers of mines.In February, Sheberghan and Mirwais hospitals treated over 2,700 inpatients and more than 17,000 outpatients. Surgeons in the two hospitals performed 890 operations.
In addition, the ICRC: treated over 700 patients at eight ICRC first-aid posts in the southern and central regions; provided two kits containing materials for the treatment of war-wounded patients to the Ministry of Public Health in Kabul for emergency use during mass-casualty incidents; provided drugs and various non-medical supplies for 10 Afghan Red Crescent clinics.
Limb-fitting and physical rehabilitation
Since 1988, the ICRC has been involved in limb-fitting and rehabilitation activities and the social reintegration of disabled people, from landmine victims to those with a motor impairment. The ICRC runs prosthetic/orthotic centres in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Gulbahar, Faizabad and Jalalabad, and a home-care service offering medical, economic and social support for patients with spinal cord injuries and their families.
From February to March, the six ICRC centres:
registered over 800 new patients, 116 of whom were amputees;assisted over 10,000 patients;fitted nearly 2,000 prostheses and orthoses;held over 30,000 physiotherapy sessions;granted micro-credit loans to patients to start their own small business ventures and provided vocational training for patients;conducted 1,300 home visits under a programme providing home care for patients with spinal cord injuries and training for their families.
Water and sanitation (…)
Food and other essentials (…)

Von: (c) 2010 States News Service,14 April 2010

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