Global & Disaster Medicine

Impact of Armed Conflict on Healthcare in Afghanistan: UN Report

Afghanistan and the Protection of Civilians :  Document

“…..In 2017, UNAMA documented 75 incidents targeting and/or impacting healthcare and healthcare workers that caused 65 civilian casualties (31 deaths and 34 injured) compared to 120 incidents in 2016 that resulted in 23 civilian casualties (10 deaths and 13 injured).

Most of the civilian casualties (26 deaths and 22 injured) in 2017 occurred in the context of a complex attack by Anti-Government Elements on the Mohammad Sardar Daud Khan Hospital in Kabul city on 8 March.

Threats, intimidation, harassment and abduction of medical personnel comprised the majority of incidents in 2017.

UNAMA recorded the targeted killing or attempted targeted killing of five healthcare professionals (three deaths and two injured) by Anti-Government Elements in 2017. In one case, on 10 October, in Tera Zayi district, Khost province, Anti-Government Elements stopped a healthcare professional from a mobile team while he was riding a motorcycle, opened fire and killed him.

Throughout 2017, Anti-Government Elements abducted 22 healthcare workers in 11 incidents, killing one of them. The other healthcare workers were released unharmed, mostly without ransom, often following the intervention of local elders. In 2017, Anti-Government Elements continued to target ambulances – UNAMA recorded five such attacks, all during the first half of the year.  For example, on 26 April, in Bagram district, Parwan province, Anti-Government Elements detonated a remote-controlled IED against an ambulance driving to the site of a murder, injuring five civilians, including a forensic doctor, two investigators, and two child bystanders.

UNAMA also recorded five incidents of intentional damage to medical facilities by AntiGovernment Elements, including one case in Badghis province, on 20 September, where AntiGovernment Elements fired rocket-propelled grenades at a clinic under construction, which resulted in its destruction and caused three civilian casualties (one death and two injured) in a nearby private house.

UNAMA documented the temporary closure of at least 147 health facilities in 2017, following threats issued by Anti-Government Elements, compared to 20 such closures in 2016. These closures ranged from several hours, with partial continuation of services, to several months of complete interruption of services, and negatively affected access to healthcare for numerous people in these areas…..”


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