The Kabul Emergency Hospital has said it will be forced to close its doors unless something is done to ensure the safety of its staff.
In a statement issued Sunday, hospital staff said this key hospital in the heart of Kabul city is now on the “frontline”.
“Till now (it) seemed that all the actors in the conflict were respecting the sign of the hospital, but not anymore.
“With the unfortunate event that happened in Kabul and the ongoing protests; our hospital has been put on the frontline,” read their statement.
The staff said that they no longer feel safe working at the hospital.
“To continue our work we are asking only one thing: Security around our hospital and not to be targeted intentionally,” read their statement.
According to them, the sit in protest by demonstrators, is outside their facility.
“The protestors tent is bordering our hospital; we have been gently threatened by the protestors and their armed escorts and bodyguards; walls have been jumped and periodical shooting is occurring just near (us).
“If we will not receive some help and assistance in the form of moving the protesters away from the hospital walls, Emergency (Hospital) will consider stopping the activity.
“In that case all the 120 patients currently admitted will be transferred to public hospitals,” read their statement.
They went on to say that this could jeopardize the entire Emergency project in the country – which consists of four hospitals and 47 clinics.
“We are just scared for the safety of our national and international staff without whom our activity would not be possible,” their statement read.
In conclusion they said: “Emergency wants to stay, wants to continue treating war wounded but not at a cost of getting killed.”
Emergency is an NGO that started working in Kabul in 2000, renovating and expanding a former nursery school in the center of the capital.
Today the hospital is a specialized trauma unit and surgical center which since July 2010 has been restricted to war surgery only, in order to meet the needs of civilian war wounded patients.
In 2016, the hospital admitted 3,400 patients. So far this year they have already treated 1,350 war wounded patients.
These past few days, the medical staff at the hospital have worked around the clock to treat victims of Wednesday’s massive truck bombing that wounded over 600 people, the wounded in Friday’s shooting at a demonstration in the city and Saturday’s triple suicide bombings at a funeral ceremony.