KABUL, Afghanistan, May 17, 2017 —
Thirty days after an attack on patients and medical staff at Kabul National Medical Hospital, a majority of the reconstruction work is complete.
On March 8, a group of terrorists disguised as doctors attacked the hospital, killing 49 patients, doctors and guards, and injuring more than 60 others.
Major General Abdul Razaq Siawash, Afghan National Army medical commander, held a status update meeting with all the country’s medical directors this week and reported that major repairs to the hospital are substantially finished.
“All floors are ready to receive patients or are currently being used for patient care,” Siawash said.
As the remaining minor repairs near completion, Resolute Support has committed to further improvements at KNMH, budgeting $1.7 million dollars for new medical equipment and $1 million for new furnishings.
“The funds provided by RS, the Government of Afghanistan, and the international community will ensure members of the security services have access to a state-of-the-art hospital worthy of their service and sacrifice,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, Resolute Support Mission.
The hospital is slated to have two upgraded operating rooms, improving the patient monitoring in intensive care and providing state-of-the-art equipment to the radiology department, added Salvin.
The funds will also pay for the restoration of 50 patient rooms, and the purchase of two X-ray machines, seven patient monitors with a central server, new medical imaging units, and equipment for the hospital’s laboratory.
During the meeting at KNMH, Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Shah Bakhshi was introduced as the new Chief of Intelligence Security for the hospital.
“We have chosen one of the best intel officers to join the security team. He has a lot of experience working at the different Corps,” Siawash said. “As we move forward, it is important to increase coordination and cooperation among all the medical departments and intel personnel to assure everyone’s safety.”
Immediately after the attack last month, hospital staff began cleaning up and making emergency repairs. Within 72 hours, patients were moved back into the facility and were receiving care. The intensive care unit was operational within six days, and more than 250 of the hospital’s 400 beds were available for patients within two weeks.