Skip to comments.Coalition Forces Build Capacity, Bring Healthcare to Afghans
Posted on 08/10/2006 4:39:30 PM PDT by SandRat
KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 10, 2006 Coalition medical teams have treated more than 64,000 Afghan patients since August 2005 as part of a joint Afghan-Coalition effort to bring medical and humanitarian aid to all regions of the country.
Coalition medical efforts have focused on treating patients while at the same time helping Afghanistan rebuild its medical infrastructure, said Air Force Col. Donald Thompson, the command surgeon for Coalition forces in Afghanistan. He spoke to reporters during a media roundtable event at Camp Eggers here Aug. 4.
The end goal, said Thompson, is to give the Afghanistan government the capability to care for its people in three primary areas: direct medical assistance, education programs and rebuilding infrastructure.
"We are working with the local, provincial, and central governments to provide help where they need help and build their capacity to improve the future of the people,"
Air Force Col. Donald Thompson, command surgeon for Coalition forces in Afghanistan
Thompson said the work that Coalition and NATO forces were doing in the country was correcting the countrys ills and allowing the people to flourish and grow.
He cited the example of an 8-year-old Afghan boy, Omar Mohammad, who received life-saving medical care from Coalition forces in Afghanistan and medical teams in the United States.
Omar suffered from a rare heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, a condition where misrouted blood flow to the heart creates an inadequate supply of oxygenated blood to the body. The boys father took him to a Coalition medical facility where the condition was diagnosed. Through various organizations, Mohammad was flown to the United States where he underwent surgery for his condition. He is now back in Afghanistan and living a life as a normal boy, said Thompson.
Improving medical services for the Afghan people is critical to improving the long-term stability and security of the country, said Thompson.
How can we ask the people of Afghanistan to build for tomorrow, when their children are dying today? he asked.
Working under dangerous conditions and in rugged terrain, more than 110 combined medical teams have visited villages throughout the country in the past year to provide treatment to Afghans. This often included polio and childhood vaccines. The teams have also treated more than 11,000 animals, which are the lifeblood of a village.
Afghan, Coalition forces and others working to improve the health care system in Afghanistan are fighting a common enemy of despair and disease, said Thompson.
We are working with the local, provincial, and central governments to provide help where they need help and build their capacity to improve the future of the people, said Thompson.
Coalition medical teams coordinate closely with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to create training programs for health care providers, Thompson said.
Education is one venue for improving the health care system that will provide for Afghans during their life span, he said.
One of the biggest threats here is the infant and maternal mortality rate, one of the highest in the world, said Thompson. Coalition medical professionals are working with international agencies to invest significant resources toward improving womens heath. Developments in pre-natal care would improve the health of mothers and unborn children, enabling them to survive the stress of childbirth.
Providing support and training to midwives and medical workers of Afghanistan is necessary to not only reduce mortality rates, but also to provide for emergency health care to deal with natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, Thompson said. Death and suffering can be minimized by having a plan in place to deal with these emergencies, said Thompson.
One of the challenges of providing health care is the threat from extremists, said Thompson. Four separate medical teams have been fired upon by enemy fighters, including medical evacuation helicopters that were clearly marked with the familiar Red Cross.
On Aug. 1 in the Zabul Province, Coalition forces evacuated an Afghan girl who sustained burns from a spilt pot of boiling oil. During the evacuation, the helicopters came under fire from enemy extremists, endangering the medevac mission.
Making improvements in life in Afghanistan
don't tell Hillary about the "healthcare" part, or she'll be applying to be the Senator from Afghanistan.
According to vastly-intelligent Senator Patti Murray, I thought Osama was handling this.
Please send me a FReepmail to get on or off this Canada ping list.
It will happen the key is to think longterm. Our Country that was new noble of experiment in Decmocracy had the evil of slavery as part of a compromise for alsmos t 90 years. You can't expect victory on all fronts all right now.
This will only be frontpage news when Hezbollah builds healthcare centers.
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