"Years of war and political instability have decimated the country’s economy and healthcare infrastructure. Due to this, most pregnant women are not able to access prenatal care and all too often their first contact with the health care system in pregnancy will be in an emergency or in labour."
"I was in a deep sleep until I felt a shaking sensation. Earthquake? No, I’m on a plane. Turbulence? Must be turbulence. No wait, I felt a hand on my shoulder. That’s when I heard 'Doctor, you’re needed upstairs. Come please.'"
Khost province is located in the southeast of Afghanistan, close to the border with Pakistan. This place was my home during three incredible and intense months, while I worked as an anaesthetist at the MSF maternity working and living alongside many like minded others from around the world and from the local community.
Report from a logistician turning his skills at the Boost hospital in Afghanistan which is one of the biggest MSF-supported hospital projects in the world: providing surgery, internal medicine, emergency services and intensive care. It also specialises in treating tuberculosis and malnutrition.
She is a happy and satisfied little baby with chubby cheeks, enjoys breastfeeding and cuddling with her mother and sleeps a lot. She is a 74-day-old baby. The 29-year-old mother is very proud of her first child. This sounds like the start of a pretty standard story of a baby girl and the tale could have taken place in many different countries around the world… But Farishta was born in Afghanistan and she did not have an easy start in life.
The team head up for a medical meeting, but noticed that midwife and gynecologist are missing. The field coordinator informed them that they were preparing for a C-section and she heads over to the operating theater (OT) immediately to find a baby with a dramtically slow heart beat.
With this stay almost over steffen reflects on the changes to the hospitl since his last post: moves for the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) and the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The NICU is embellished with flowers and animals.
Having spent most of her nursing career in Australia working at a tertiary paediatric hospital, she had already been present at more births in Afghanistan than previously in her nursing career. Six weeks earlier she could never have imagined being part of the neonatal team waiting anxiously for the births of triplets.