Building the Neglected Anesthetic Practice in Post-War Afghanistan: An Experience of a Decade of Rehabilitation


The Indian Medical Mission, which included a surgical team, was established in 2001 after the fall of Taliban in Mazar-e Sharief in Afghanistan. The practice of anaesthesiology was not only primitive but also rudimentary. It was an arduous task for the successive anesthesiologist to propagate the scientific aspect of the subject and demonstrate the need for its dedicated practice in patient outcomes. The Anaesthesiologist conducted 22,856 surgeries in the operation theatre given to Indian medical mission (IMM) and provided consultation for more than 50,000 cases. The successive teams trained the doctors, and helped to establish the department of anaesthesiology at Balk Medical University in a sincere effort to promote the subject. Afghanistan stands in the twilight of a long journey in providing comprehensive health care to its population. Although considerable progress has been made in the past decade and a firm base for the specialty of anaesthesiology has been built, a great deal of work is still to be done. The continued development of the specialty will require joint commitment and action from all health agencies in Afghanistan. Lastly, for anaesthesiology to develop in a professional manner, the trained anesthesiologists, themselves, must play a pivotal role and establish professional societies for its permanent growth.