As far away as Pakistan felt a week ago, Sweden and Stockholm feel today. I'm in Islamabad have just started my second mission with Doctors Without Borders. Islamabad is not my final destination; Chaman is where I am going. Chaman is located in the province of Balochistan and the city is very close to the border with Afghanistan. My mission will be emergency care and to run the emergency department.
The project, which also includes paediatric and maternal health, has been there since way back but has changed over the years. Initially, the project in Chaman was a humanitarian response to the influx of refugee or rather the different influxes of refugees from the wars in Afghanistan. Last year, the project was facing major problems with access. The problems are still there, but the future looks brighter. What I am writing about is the security threats that are big here, but above all we have problems to get travel permits called NOCs and long-term visa from the government. MSF is the only international organization working in the area but we had to run several parts of the projects via phone and email last year. It looks brighter as I said, and we have an increased presence in the area. I'm waiting for here in Islamabad for my travel permit. The wait is frustrating.
The first week has been filled with information, everything from security rules to familiarize my self with the project and what I am here to do. I sit in front of a computer all day, which I am not used to. The restlessness is growing in my body and I want to be in Chaman. Got a call from one of the nurses in the emergency room. A bomb blast in Chaman resulting in three dead and six injured who streamed into the emergency room, and here I am powerless. Soon I'll be there.
My name is Jon, normally I work as a nurse in Stockholm, and will in the next six months writing from Pakistan. My everyday life has changed and will change even more and I hope you want to be a part of it even though it is from a distance.