Red Cross seeks to boost medical support in Afghanistan to ease plight of civilians

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 20 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:585
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. Geneva

The International Committee of the Red Cross is increasing its surgical support and other medical services in Afghanistan to help ease the plight of large numbers of civilians, many in isolated rural areas, caught up in the spreading of hostilities across more than half the country.

“The civilian population is paying a high price, and we are seeing a lot casualties in ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] supported hospitals such as Mirwais in Kandahar,” said Reto Stocker, head of the committee's delegation in Afghanistan.

During the first six months of this year hospitals assisted by the Red Cross performed about 9000 operations and provided medical services to 17 700 inpatients and 86 000 outpatients.

Mr Stocker said that because of the deteriorating situation and greater need …

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