Kabul Updates: 14 New Specialized Surgeons, Casualties from Car Bomb


Group photo of the surgeons in training

March 25, 2015

Yesterday our 14 junior surgeons took the specialization exam for their respective course years at our hospital in Kabul…and they all passed!

“This is another part of EMERGENCY‘s work and we’re proud to be a part of it,” wrote our staff in Afghanistan.

The day began favorably with this news, but it soon took a bad turn: a car was blown up near the presidential palace in the capital, causing numerous deaths and wounding many more. Nineteen people involved in this serious attack were brought to our hospital; five of them were already dead on arrival. And as if that weren’t enough, another 12 people involved in other incidents around the provinces came to us within the next few hours.

The situation is extremely serious in southern Afghanistan too. Last week alone, there were three attacks in Lashkar-gah, the capital of Helmand – one of the most dangerous provinces in the country.

“The safety issue in Afghanistan is spiraling out of control: even in Kabul, attacks and shooting are daily occurrences. We take in injured people every day – our hospital in the city is always full,” says Luca, EMERGENCY‘s Program Coordinator in Afghanistan.

It’s been 13 years since the wear began and the situation in Afghanistan is out of control.

To help train new generations of surgeons and treat civilian casualties of war in Afghanistan,click here to donate now. 


Ebola in Sierra Leone: We’re Not Letting our Guard Down

10974438_10152970522626357_4636441812317428277_oLast Friday, for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic, there were no new confirmed cases of Ebola in the whole Sierra Leone.

The next day, however, saw seven new cases. The country is preparing for the three days of curfew local authorities are setting up to fight the spread on the virus.

In these last few days, Liberia recorded a new Ebola case after going 21 days without any.

Ebola virus is unpredictable. We are not letting our guard down: our staff in Sierra Leone are continuing to fight the virus and treating patients with the highest standards of care.

To help stop the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, click here to donate now.

Another Mass Casualty Incident in Lashkar-Gah

EMERGENCY-AFGHANISTAN-LASHKARGAH-01“Wednesday morning, at about 11 o’clock, a loud explosion literally shook the whole hospital,” Giacomo, logistician in Lashkar-Gah, Afghanistan, tells us. “The windows, doors, and some parts of the roof were blown to smithereens by the blast wave. A vehicle packed with explosives had been blown up in front of the entrance to the governor’s palace about 300 meters from our hospital.

After the explosion we heard shots as well, so we decided to activate the usual Mass Casualty Plan, but staying under shelter inside and using the canopy in front of our ER to carry out triage on the casualties, instead of the tents we usually use in the garden for these situations. The sounds of the fighting went on for some minutes, but were drowned out straight away by the noise of the ambulances racing to our hospital.

24 casualties arrived, including three who were already dead when they got here. Relatives and friends of our local staff were involved in the attack too. That’s what war is: you leave home in the morning and you’re not sure you’ll be going back, or if all your loved ones will still be there.”

This is the third mass casualty incident that our Surgical Center in Lashkar-Gah has had in under two weeks.

To help deliver coordinated emergency care to civilian casualties of war in Afghanistan,click here to donate now. 

Ebola Survivor: Memunatu

11004_10152656438191367_5416316717224764180_nGino’s Diary – March 17th, 2015

There are still more than fifty new cases of Ebola every week in Sierra Leone, half here around ​​Freetown where our Ebola Treatment Center is located. Unfortunately most have a particularly severe form of the disease, which is often mortal. We are worried that this is something new, that the virus is changing, that it’s becoming even more dangerous. For months we had not seen such severe cases, and now they are becoming the daily norm. We are frustrated; we don’t understand. Despite the efforts of many, after six stressful months we still can’t decipher this terrible and complicated disease.

So to improve mood I’ll share with you this picture I just received. The photo shows Memunatu, a 7-year-old girl who is Ebola free after being treated in the Intensive Care Unit for 12 days. Now it’s time time for Memunatu to leave the hospital, and Michela – everyone here calls her “mother” – takes her outside the fence. Away from Ebola – buon viaggio.

—Gino Strada
Freetown, Sierra Leone

To help Ebola patients in Sierra Leone like Memunatu recover and move on from this severe disease, click here to donate now.

Ali, Village Volunteer in Sudan


“EMERGENCY has given us the means; now I want to do my part and put into practice all that I have learned”

“My name is Ali Abdurahim Amdan, I’m 37 years old, and since I was 17 I’ve been living in the Mayo camp with my family. Since I finished school, I’ve been in a variety of positions: I worked as a painter, a cleaner, a bricklayer… One day, I heard about a clinic in the camp, they said Italian doctors were treating people without asking for money or any other kind of payment. Personally, I have always felt the need to help other people – I guess it’s typical of my family as my father works in a hospital in Khartoum – so, when the chief of Angola, the area I live in, asked me to enroll in EMERGENCY‘s Village Volunteers program, I decided to do it. I know the population of Mayo needs it: there’s a lack of nurses and people who can help the population avoid all the health problems that arise from living in such a degraded area full of rubbish, stagnant water, and extreme poverty. It’s a very dangerous place for our health and children are the ones who suffer the most.

I’m proud to have completed the Village Volunteers program. Now I am officially a Village Volunteer. I go around the camp to find sick children. I can help my community through information. I teach people how to recognize the most common diseases, how to correctly conserve and prepare food, and how to use water.

Now, with the help of other Village Volunteers, I want to give courses to the population of my area and to provide visits at home, so we can meet families and help them through health education. EMERGENCY has given us the means; now I want to do my part and put into practice all that I have learned.”

The Village Volunteers are part of the 3-year projectCommunity participation to strengthen basic maternal and pediatric health services in Mayo camp“, co-funded by the European Delegation in Khartoum (EuropeAid).

To help more people in Sudan access the healthcare they need, click here to donate now.