Afghanistan: MSF withdraws from Kabul hospital following deadly maternity ward attack

Kabul doctors and residents reacted on Tuesday to the decision of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to withdraw from the Afghan capital's Dasht-e-Barchi hospital, one month after gunmen killed at least 24 people in an attack on the hospital's maternity ward. «We can't continue to work without knowing the reasons behind the attack. We can't risk an ongoing presence of MSF if this presence poses a danger to the people of Dasht-e-Barchi,» said MSF Head of Programs in Afghanistan Brian P. Moller. «We will try to make the transition as smooth as possible. We are organising for generous donations to the hospital, both to the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital and to the 50 bed hospital,» Moller continued. «There are a lot of people still coming to this hospital, and when they see the [MSF] project is closed, they just leave,» said Suraya, a member of staff at the hospital. «It really is a catastrophe when a medical hospital of this level in the west of Kabul stops because of an attack,» Kabul resident Rahmat Mohammadi said. At least 24 people — including 15 mothers, two young children and one MSF midwife — were killed in the maternity ward attack on May 12.

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