The ICRC has opened an orthopaedic centre in Gulbahar, 80 kilometres north of Kabul, for the treatment of landmine victims and war-wounded in the north-eastern provinces of Afghanistan. Shifting front lines have prevented residents of these provinces from reaching other orthopaedic centres.
The ICRC is currently running five othopaedic centres in Afghanistan. The main one, in Kabul, produces all the prostheses and orthoses for the other centres, which are situated in Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat and Jalalabad. All five centres provide financial assistance and accommodation for people from remote areas who cannot afford to travel and have no place to stay.
The orthopaedic programme constitutes a main part of the ICRC's activities in Afghanistan, which are aimed at addressing the lasting consequences of the conflict, compensating for weaknesses in the social safety net and reinforcing local community structures. Among other things, the ICRC provides support for medical facilities, assists the most vulnerable, collects and distributes Red Cross messages, visits prisoners, promotes humanitarian law and values and cooperates with the Afghan Red Crescent Society.
Further information: Jon-Hans Coetzer, ICRC Kabul, tel. ++ 873 761 242 260