Feature: Orthopedic center in Afghanistan helps war victims find feet again

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-19 22:07:09|Editor: pengying
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by Abdul Haleem

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of men, women and children who have been maimed in the conflict and terrorist attacks in war-plagued Afghanistan often visit the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) orthopedic center in Lashkar Gah.

Lashkar Gah is the capital city of war-torn Helmand province and those visiting the ICRC orthopedic center there are often seeking medical treatment and support related to prosthetics.

Shahzada, 24, is one of the hundreds of victims who lost one of his legs in a mine blast in the Gereshk district 15 months ago, and is trying to learn to walk again using a synthetic leg provided by the center recently.

Recalling his nightmare, Shahzada said that he was crossing a security belt that separated the Taliban militants from government forces' positions in Gereshk, when a sudden blast launched him in the air. When he regained consciousness a few hours later, he found himself badly injured and under treatment in hospital.

Shahzada said with the synthetic leg, he was able to stand on his own feet and walk again.

Established in 2009, the orthopedic center in Lashkar Gah city provided artificial body parts to 908 people with war-related disabilities in 2017 out of 6,419 victims who approached the center.

"In 2017 a total of 6,419 disabled and maimed people sought artificial body parts, but the center could only provide artificial limbs to 908 people," Esmatullah Qazi, the head of the center, told Xinhua.

The ICRC, according to the official, has seven orthopedic centers in Afghanistan to assist the war victims in the conflict-ridden country.

Most of the employees in the center, themselves war victims and those with disabilities, provide services and medical treatment for people with similar injuries.

The brutal war in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province and adjoining provinces of Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces, besides claiming the lives of people, also rendered many people, including children, disabled almost every day.

Hence, many war victims from Helmand and adjoining areas seek out the ICRC orthopedic center in Lashkar Gah in the hope of receiving medical treatment, including prosthetic limbs.

Ihsanullah, a five-year-old boy, is waiting for his wounds to heal at the center in Lashkar Gah.

The sweet young child who lost both of his legs in a mine blast does not recall the tragic event and often says to his mother innocently, "I want my legs back, please ask the doctors to help me get them back."

According to the doctors at the center, any injured person who needs an artificial body part has to wait three months on average until his or her wounds have healed before they can receive a prosthetic limb.

Then, through rehabilitation, they learn how to use the prosthetic limb in their long journey back towards leading a normal life again. Enditem