Every day someone in Afghanistan is affected by a landmine. A disproportionate number of them are children and goat herders. Despite sustained efforts, hundreds of square kilometers of land remains mined. However, the deminers of the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA) plan to make Afghanistan mine free by 2023.
The MACCA is using a three-pronged strategy to accomplishing its goal: clearing the land, educating locals in the hazards and operations, and incorporating mine education curriculum into the broader education system. These efforts have helped bring mine incidents down from more than 30 per day to a little over 30 per month in 2015.
For those that have been wounded by mines, their healthcare options are limited. However, one hospital, Emergency, continues to provide free healthcare to all who have been wounded or affected by war. An Italian-based nonprofit, Emergency has been operating in Afghanistan since 1999 and receives more trauma and war-related referrals than any other hospital in the country. Emergency continues to provide a high standard of care and offers treatment options to anyone regardless of their political affiliation.
MACCA’s efforts have saved countless lives and Emergency’s efforts to treat those who have been wounded continue to bring hope to an otherwise grim situation.