30 October 2015

MSF in a hospital


Maureen Akeng’a, Nurse, 2015
Kunduz Trauma Centre was a life and limb-saving centre. The hospital was a special project based on the amount of dedication and hard work every single staff member put in the work just ensure that our patients got a second chance at life.

By doing the best they can to save lives and ensure that by the time they leave they are back to normal or they understand and have come to terms with challenges they will be facing in future. The caregivers and patients told me they were grateful and wouldn’t know what to do if the MSF hospital were not there anymore.
My message to my colleagues and friends in Kunduz is I admired your humility and zeal to work. I really appreciate your acceptance and will never forget the experience I had in the Kunduz hospital. Let’s not lose hope, it is the only thing that we cling on to when everything seems dark and feels empty.

You are our heroes. And we celebrate you.

Gilberta Jairos, OT Supervisor Kunduz Trauma Centre, March – September 2015
When I think of the Kunduz Trauma Centre, it is like one big family. The feeling I had was of belonging. My message to my MSF colleagues in Kunduz is that my heart is so pained. I cried and wished I was there for them with all the loss that happened.

I think in particular of one of the Operating Theater nurses who became a friend. He was killed on a fateful day. May his soul rest in peace. I can feel their pain and I also feel the pain of the community.

Kunduz Trauma Centre was my first MSF assignment and very special to me. They worked so hard and never complained even when the load was too much. I will always cherish my time there.

Dr Vanessa Naidoo, OT Supervisor in Kunduz, 2012 and 2013
Kunduz is a city in a country that has been riddled with war for decades. It is the home of many strong, resilient people who have endured and survived the trauma for most of their lives. The people I met and worked with are accustomed to bomb blasts and Kalashnikov wounds, but by no means hardened by them- they somehow remain sympathetic and kind in the midst of it.
I had the honour of calling one of the Operating Theatre (OT) nurses killed in the attack, my friend. Back when I worked in Kunduz, we took to each other easily and spent many hours chatting about life outside the hospital, our hopes and dreams, his travels and my MSF assignments in other countries.

He had a sense of humour and a smile that would keep everyone going. As anaesthetists and OT nurses often do, we'd roll our eyes at each other and glance at the clock when the surgeons were taking too long with a case. A young and vibrant man so tragically lost.
I worked in Kunduz during Ramadan, and we worked till after dark on most days. I remember clearly the long hot days that ended with the most beautiful twilight hours, the call to prayer from mosques at different ranges.

There was pure joy as everyone gathered together to break their fast around the hospital. We sat around, shared bread, laughed and joked like no war had ever happened there.

Find out more about MSF's work in Afghanistan