Following on from the earthquake that hit Herat in western Afghanistan on 7th October, we asked the Head of Programme who is now on the ground there to give us an update of the current situation:  Herat is still experiencing aftershocks, which is unsettling for everyone. According to data from the Ministry of Public Health and Herat Regional Hospital, there have been 2,445 reported deaths and 2,440 injuries in Herat Province so far. However, as you can imagine in situations like this data is hard to verify and the figures may change. As of 9th October, over 540 patients have been treated at Herat Regional Hospital where MSF teams are supporting, and other patients have been treated in private hospitals. Most of the cases are women and children, likely because when the earthquake hit mid-morning, they were the ones at home.

What is MSF doing?

In the morning of 9th October, there were still 340 patients in the regional hospital, mostly classified as mild to moderate. Many are in the tents set up by MSF because even though they could be discharged they don’t have homes to return to. The authorities are looking into how to accommodate them. MSF teams in different parts of Afghanistan sent additional supplies on 8th, and the Herat team donated mass casualty medical supplies to the regional hospital, enough to treat 400 people. A team made up of operational, medical and logistical staff left today to assess some of the most-affected areas outside of the city and to provide medical first-aid.

What will happen next?

MSF teams continue to be very busy and will continue to support the Herat Regional Hospital. Our response will adapt if needed, as the situation becomes clearer both in the city and in the districts. The most immediate need at the hospital right now is to find shelter for those people who have lost everything. 



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