Kandahar was the Talibanís headquarters in 1996 when they first came to power in Afghanistan. Today it remains the Taliban heartland and only a few humanitarian organisations operate in the region.
The 350 bed Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar serves five provinces and deals with all sorts of injuries.
This man whose leg was shot in a drive-by shooting had to travel to Karachi in Pakistan to have it amputated.
Most women - particularly in rural areas - are never seen by a health professional during pregnancy and childbirth, and the country has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
At the Mir Mohammad Khan Kalacha health clinic supported by Unicef in Kandahar a 14-year-old girl, who is about to be married, waits to have a tetanus injection.
The clinic has a total of 16 staff and the main illnesses and diseases treated are diarrhoea, ear, nose and throat disorders and pneumonia.
A young girl holds her nephew who is suffering from malnutrition at a therapeutic feeding centre. One in five children dies before their fifth birthday.
The US coalition leader in Afghanistan General McCrystal has announced a major offensive in Kandahar over the next few months to rid it of Taliban insurgents.
Throughout Afghanistan, international organisations are helping the ministry of health provide a basic healthcare service to the entire population. Photographs by Kate Holt
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