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Afghanistan: Rehabilitation center in Kandahar helps injured and people

Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Since 1996, HI has managed a physical rehabilitation center in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. This center is the only one providing comprehensive services to people living with disabilities across the whole region. We visit the center with Rasool, the officer in charge of our activities in Kandahar province.

A physical therapist from Kandahar Physical Rehabilitation Centre guiding the amputees during gait training process.

A physical therapist from Kandahar Physical Rehabilitation Center guiding the amputees during gait training process. | © Jaweed Tanveer/HI

In 2015, the rehabilitation center hosted more than 7,000 individual patients . “On average, almost twenty new patients arrive here every day”, explains Rasool, “and at least 1 out of 5 is an amputee of a lower limb.”

Inside the main room, the lower-limb amputees exercise with their artificial limb legs. Under the supervision of a physical therapist, they are walking with these new legs, following footsteps painted on the floor of the room. The center particularly focuses on group training, according to Rasool: “When exercising in groups, the patients support each other. They are in a better mood and it raises the efficiency of the physical therapy sessions.”

The center employs 54 people (including 10 women) distributed between the rehabilitation services, which provides physical therapy sessions to the patients, and the workshop, which provides and repairs prostheses, orthoses and other mobility aids (walkers, wheelchairs, crutches).

The Kandahar center gradually became a reference point in the region and beyond. Although 80% of the patients of the center originate from the province of Kandahar, 20% of them come from the surrounding areas and even from nearby Pakistan.

“Hosting the patients for several days is a challenge. Many of them come from remote areas and cannot afford to stay in Kandahar for a night or two,” comments Rasool. The center therefore has a 33-beds capacity guesthouse. Every day, the in-patients walk the 50-meter path between the guesthouse and the rehabilitation center.  Between 2010 and 2015, the attendance of the Kandahar center increased by more than 50%.


In 2015, one patient out of 5 treated by the center became injured or due to a weapon (conventional weapon, explosive weapon, improvised explosive device, or explosive remnant of war).  “Weapons are the leading cause of disabilities or injuries among our patients”, underlines Rasool. “We provide them necessary care so that they can care for themselves as soon as possible.”



Date published: 03/31/16


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