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ICRC Activities in South Western Region of Afghanistanin the First Quarter of 2001





 Mir Wais Hospital  

The ICRC continued to support the MoPH 180 bed surgical unit comprising 

  • operating theater,

  • out patient department,

  • intensive care unit

  • male and female wards,

  • blood bank, laboratory and X-ray department,

  • pharmacy, and

  • maintenance department

in the Mir Wais hospital in Kandahar. The ICRC trains local surgeons, nurses, technicians and its supporting staff to care for patients to acceptable norms.

Since 1996 men, women and children needing surgical intervention from Kandahar, Helmand, Oruzgan, Zabul and as far as Ghor are being treated free of charge in the ICRC supported part of the hospital.

12 Local doctors, guided by an expatriate chief surgeon, are working day and night to perform over 600 surgical interventions per months. An expatriate head nurse is collaborating with the local hospital manager to keep the care of the patients at acceptable levels. Midwifes are being trained in assisting child birth and take care of women patients in a separate female ward.

Besides training and teaching the ICRC is supplying medicine and instruments, fuel, bedding and hygienic materials and pays an incentive to 230 local staff comprised of doctors, nurses and hospital supporting personnel.

From the beginning of the year the surgical unit

  • performed 1100 surgical interventions of all kind, often very complicated ones, 

  • treated 1600 inpatients plus

  • 6800 out patients and

  • collected 700 units of blood.

On the infrastructure side of the hospital the Water and Sanitation department rehabilitated the waste water disposal works and at the beginning of the year two large size generators were donated to the hospital.

Did you know that the ICRC operated a surgical hospital in Quetta before moving to Kandahar and starting the surgical unit in the Mir Wais hospital? Over 11 years the ICRC treated thousands of war wounded patients from the southwestern region. 

Public health assistance

The ICRC has taken part in the National Immunization Day by providing cars, drivers and a monitor to assist the inoculation.

A medical team visits monthly small children under age of 5 who are with their detained

mothers and checks on the overall health situation of the inmates.


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 Detention - Protection  



In its activities in favor of detainees the ICRC visits prisons and detention places all over Afghanistan. According to standard procedures, implemented worldwide by the ICRC, private talks are held between the detainees and the delegates.

 All information collected is treated confidentially .

Following each visit, the delegates have a constructive dialogue with the authorities to discuss conditions of detention. Whenever necessary, the ICRC submits recommendations in order to improve the living conditions in prisons and distributes assistance in the form of nonfood items such as clothing, blankets or hygienic goods. It also assists in the improvement of the sanitation by lending a hand in improvement of the water supply system and disposal of dirty waste water.

Water and sanitation department of the ICRC has engineered a comprehensive sewage disposal system for the Sarpoza prison complex. The construction of part one will start on April 1, 2001.

Travel assistance to 307 detainees released from jail was provided to facilitate their journey back to their home .

During the first 3 months of year 2001 delegates of the ICRC visited the detainees in two district jails and provided some assistance such as hygienic and bedding items . In the Mossa Qala district jail a hand pump was installed and the place around the well cemented to eliminate its potential contamination.



 Family links  


Since the usual means of communication have been disrupted in Afghanistan ICRC, in cooperation with the local branches of ARCS , arranges for the exchange of family messages among detainees and their families.

ICRC also arranges for transfer and repatriation as well as reuniting dispersed family members.

In first quarter of 2001 ICRC Kandahar collected 86 Red Cross Messages and distributed 1387 Red Cross Messages to detainees and/or families.

One of its little known activities but of great importance is tracing of missing persons. This is done world wide. 

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The r eader may ask why the ICRC is visiting schools, madrassas and military garrisons?

One of the reason is of course to introduce the ICRC, it activities and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. But the main purpose is to tell young and adult persons the need to protect the civil population from the evil of war and internal disturbances, and also to sensiblize them about the rules to be respected in case of an armed conflict.

Dissemination has been held in 19 Madrasas during the first 3 months and ICRC note books distributed to some 2500 students.

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 Co - Operation With ARCS  

The Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) being a member of the international movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society is supported by the ICRC and the IFRC, a third member of the movement. Various programs such Food For Work, distribution of Red Cross Messages and dissemination helps to assist the most vulnerable population. The IFRC assists with medical supply to the ARCS clinics and both, the ICRC and the IFRC, pay incentives to ARCS staff on a monthly basis. 

In order to assist the people affected by drought in the southwestern region, ICRC through ARCS, continued Food For Work programs to rehabilitate wat er systems. During the three first months of this year

  • 14 projects totaling 7889 meters of Kareze were completed in Kandahar, Zabul, Urozgan and Helmand provinces;

  • 13'846 kg of wheat grain was distributed through ARCS to support the workers involved in cleaning, and

  • 512 families have directly benefited from these achieved programs.

Presently 19 new programs are ongoing which will benefit to 1014 families in the south western regions of Afghanistan.

The Marastoon in Kandahar also benefits of ICRC's support, financially and technically.

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 Mine data Collection Program  

From January 2001 the ICRC has started a mine data collection program in the southwestern provinces. One specialized staff member is visiting clinics all over the southwestern region to collect data on mine accidents. The data will be shared with UN and Mine Awareness and Demining Agency to allow them to localize mine fields and take action to demine infected areas.


 Published by ICRC Communication Department Kandahar, March 2001  

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