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546 Assessment of policy and services for war-related injuries in Kabul, Afghanistan
  1. Shafiqa Mehry,
  2. Uzma Khan,
  3. Zafar Fatmi
  1. Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan


Introduction Wars and conflicts are the leading cause of death and loss of disability adjusted life years among youth in Afghanistan. We reviewed the existing policies and available health services to address war-related injuries in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Methodology We used a mixed-methods exploratory design for assessment of services for war-related injuries. we conducted a review of the hospital records to capture war-related injury pattern and reached out to the health managers and health care providers through interview guidelines, and assessment forms to assess the services. Later, we also conducted a review of the available and previous government level health policies to oversee war injury care at policy level.

Results Areas such as human resources, services, infrastructure, and health management information systems need major improvement. Our data shows the availability of a control and command center for emergency responses including war emergencies. However, none of the available policies have defined war trauma care clearly. Unavailability of a well-managed complex trauma system and delivery of injury care by general health care services were highlighted as main gaps in available services. The quantitative data indicates that males (80.4%) were more prone to injuries than females (19.6%). More than half (55.5%) of injured victims were at the young age group (20–39), followed by victims who were less than 19 years old. More than half of the affected people were married (58.1%) and unemployed (79.2%). Active battle gunshots were the main cause of war injuries (37.7%), followed by suicide bombings (34.3%). Lower extremities were the most affected sites by all types of war-related injuries.

Conclusion Afghanistan is a country chronically affected by war; however, policies, programs and institutions are not prioritizing war-related injuries. General health services are dealing with war related injuries with inadequate human and institutional capacity. There is an urgent need to address war related injuries in policies and programs in Afghanistan.

  • Injury
  • war
  • war injury
  • Kabul
  • Afghanistan

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