Image from Herat after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Western Afghanistan on Saturday 7th October 2023
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MSF responds to the earthquake in Western Afghanistan

On Sunday, October 8, 2023

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As of 7:00 pm local time, health authorities have confirmed 23 deaths and 300 wounded have been received at the Herat Regional Hospital. Rescue efforts and search for wounded are underway and more details on the impact of the earthquake will emerge in the coming hours.

The earthquake struck 40 kilometers west of Herat city in the western Herat province – the third largest in Afghanistan. In this region, MSF supports the Herat Regional Hospital and managed the paediatric section including triage, emergency room, inpatient therapeutic feeding centre (ITFC), paediatric ICU, intermediate care unit and the ambulatory (outpatient) therapeutic feeding centre (ATFC).

In response to potential additional needs, MSF has established five medical tents within the hospital compound with the capacity to accommodate up to 80 patients.

Lisa Macheiner, Project Coordinator for MSF in Herat, Afghanistan:

 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 Herat Regional Hospital, which are run by MSF. This was as a precautionary measure in case aftershocks damaged the building. The facility was not affected by the earthquake.

“In emergency room of the hospital, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) 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 search for wounded continue in affected areas, we are monitoring the situation and will adapt our response as needed.”

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