Said Karim

Said Karim, a stonemason and father who lost his legs when his car drove over a landmine.

From Lucy’s witness: “The people of Afghanistan are resilient and survive horrendous injuries. Many patients arrive at the hospital after travelling for hours or even days, like Said Karim and his brother both injured when they detonated a land mine. They were the main wage earners supporting a large family. The war in Afghanistan does not only cause physical injures to people but means that people like Said Karim who lost both his legs are no longer able to provide for an entire family.”


In 2011 victim-activated explosive items were the largest killer of Afghani civilians. In fact, one out of three people who died in the on-going conflict was killed by an IED (Improvised explosive device). Despite the frequency of the phenomenon, the tragedy of those who suffer this type of injury is rarely a subject of interest in the West.

EMERGENCY’s involvement in Afghanistan began in 1999 with the construction of the Surgical Centre for War Victims in Anabah, in the Panjshir Valley. In order to meet the needs of the local population, the Centre progressively expanded its activities to include emergency surgery, general surgery, trauma care, internal medicine and paediatrics. An ambulance service connects the Surgical and Medical Centre in Anabah to a network of 16 First Aid Posts and Health Centres, opened by EMERGENCY in the Panjshir Valley and in the neighbouring provinces of Kapisa, Parwan, and Badakhshan and on the Salang pass.

In 2003 EMERGENCY opened a Maternity Centre in Anabah to provide antenatal, gynaecological, obstetric and neonatal care to the population of the Valley and the surrounding provinces. More than 300 babies are born every month at EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre, which is the only specialized and free facility in the area. More than 17,000 babies were born in the Centre by December 2012.

Data on EMERGENCY Surgical Centre for War Victims in Anabah:

Outpatients consultation: 197,555
Admitted patients: 29,074
Surgeries: 18,686

Since December 1999 EMERGENCY has treated over 3.5 million people in Afghanistan.
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