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An MSF assessment team leaving for Paktika Province, Afghanistan


Afghanistan earthquake: MSF maternity ward in Khost near the epicentre

An MSF assessment team leaving for Paktika Province, Afghanistan © Sarah Laevens/ MSF
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On the morning of 22 June 2022, an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck south-eastern Afghanistan. The epicentre was not far from the town of Khost, where Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a large maternity clinic. Our patients and staff are unharmed, but the toll in the region is expected to rise, especially in Paktika province.

    Following the earthquake, MSF sent teams made up of medical and logistical staff to the worst-affected areas. Hundreds of people are thought to have been killed, over a thousand wounded, and many homes have been destroyed and damaged. 

    In Bermal, Paktika Province, MSF has set up a 24-hour eight-bed clinic where patients are stabilised until they can be referred for further care. We are also supporting the outpatient activities, and a psychological counsellor has started giving psychological first aid to survivors. Surgical staff and a midwife left Khost on Saturday to further reinforce the team.

    Donations of medical supplies and tents have been given to health facilities in Gayan and Bermal, and we are looking at solutions to ensure safe water and adequate sanitation to the population and the health facilities.

    In the early days after an earthquake, trauma injuries such as broken bones and wounds are the biggest concern but now health needs are turning to dehydration and diarrhoea caused by a lack of safe water,” says José Mas, the MSF Emergency Coordinator.