The World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that he was 'shocked and appalled' to hear of the attack on a maternity hospital in Afghanistan on Tuesday that killed at least 24, including two newborn babies. Tedros also reiterated the United Nations' call for a global ceasefire and urged all stakeholders to put aside politics and prioritise peace in order to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently raging havoc across the world.
Tedros in a statement released on the WHO website said, "As the world celebrated nurses, I was shocked and appalled to hear of the attack on an MSF hospital in Afghanistan, which led to the deaths of nurses, mothers, and babies. Civilians and health workers should never be a target and as my colleague and dear friend Mike Ryan said last week, the weaponisation of health is not helping anywhere. We need health and peace. We need peace for health and health for peace. And we need it now!"
The attack that took place at a Kabul maternity hospital on Tuesday killed 24 people, the majority of whom were women who had just given birth or were in the process of delivery. According to reports, gunmen rampaged through the hospital shooting indiscriminately at anyone in their way, targetting mostly mothers and babies. Afghan deputy minister of health, Wahid Majrooh, who was one of the first people to enter the hospital after the attack said that 18 newborn babies were left motherless and added that he was still in shock.
Majrooh said that they are used to seeing dead bodies in Afghanistan but this is something that had never happened before, specifically targetting mothers and babies. According to reports, the gunmen directly went to the maternity wards as soon as they entered the hospital building and started shooting mothers and babies. As per reports, a mother of one was killed while delivering another baby, including her unborn child.
(Image Credit: AP)