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Afghanistan: MSF is responding to Herat earthquakes

On Saturday, 7 October a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan, followed by three aftershocks. As of 7pm local time, health authorities had confirmed numerous deaths, and hundreds of wounded people had been received at Herat Regional Hospital.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports Herat Regional Hospital and manages the facility’s paediatric section, which includes triage, the emergency room, inpatient and outpatient therapeutic feeding centres, a paediatric intensive care unit, and an intermediate care unit.

MSF one of the only NGOs in Afghanistan supporting the earthquake response.

To prepare for potential additional needs, MSF has set up five medical tents within the hospital compound with the capacity to accommodate up to 80 additional patients. 

 “When the first earthquake hit this morning, our teams rushed to evacuate all the children who were admitted, many in critical condition, from the paediatric inpatient wards of the hospital, which are run by MSF,” said Lisa Macheiner, MSF project coordinator in Herat. “This was as a precautionary measure in case aftershocks damaged the building. The facility was not affected by the earthquake.” 

In the hospital’s emergency room, the Ministry of Public Health is currently handling all incoming wounded patients and has requested supplementary medical supplies. In response, we've dispatched mass casualty kits to treat up to 400 wounded patients and stationed a medical team at the hospital's emergency room for further support if necessary. As rescue efforts and the search for wounded people continue in affected areas, we are monitoring the situation and will adapt our response as needed.

Lisa Macheiner
MSF project coordinator in Herat

Earthquakes, floods, conflict – MSF teams are there to respond when emergency strikes, whenever and wherever medical humanitarian needs arise.  

By making a donation, you can help ensure that we are always there to provide lifesaving healthcare during emergencies and natural disasters, such as right now in Afghanistan. 

Unless otherwise specified, contributions to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are directed to our general emergency fund, which is what we draw upon to deliver lifesaving healthcare wherever it’s needed around the world. Such unrestricted general donations give us the ability to direct funds where the needs are greatest, including under-reported and neglected crises.

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