A newborn Afghan infant is brought into the world with assistance from Afghan National Army and Coalition medics Jan 10. (U.S. Army Photo)
Jan. 14, 2008 —
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Jan. 14, 2008) — The Afghan National Army’s 207th Kandak, advised by Coalition forces, provided emergency medical assistance to save the lives of a mother and her newborn infant Jan. 10 in the remote village of Aji Kah in the Gozara District of Herat Province, Afghanistan.
The ANA Kandak was conducting a security patrol in the area when they were flagged down by two men asking for medical assistance for one of the village’s residents. They told the ANA crew a woman had severe stomach cramps and needed immediate care.
“Please take the woman to the hospital. She will surely die if she is not taken immediately,” a village elder said.
The elders explained they were not able to take the woman to the district hospital due to the harsh weather and deep snow. They led the ANA and Coalition soldiers to the home to see how they could assist. What they found surprised the soldiers. When they entered the rural home, crowded with family members and a mid-wife, they found a young Afghan woman suffering from complications from giving birth.
“The baby is still connected,” a male relative said.
The medic quickly finished delivering the infant, and then provided both of them post-natal care.
The ANA transported mother and infant, as well as a male relative, to the Gozara District hospital for further care after they were stabilized for travel. The ANA navigated the deep snow to the final destination. Both mother and child are reported in good condition.
While the ANA and Coalition medics were assisting the mother and infant, the rest of the combined force saw to the medical needs of villagers, while others held talks with village elders.
Aji Kah is a tiny village of only 150 residents. The village makes its livelihood off their livestock of more than 1,000 sheep and goats. While the remote village has no doctor, medical clinic, or vehicle to take residents to the district hospital, only 20 villagers asked for medical checkups during the impromptu stop. Most of the villagers were treated for cold weather-related illnesses, such as cold and flu symptoms. Villagers also received blankets and jackets to help keep them warm through the cold Afghan winter.
ANA and Coalition soldiers also met with village elders to determine the needs of the residents of the rural Herat community. One of the elders invited the team into his home, where they held a conversation over tea.
The elder said this was one of the first times ANA teams had visited the village. He had heard of the ANA’s trips to other local villages in the area and had requested assistance for his residents. Wrapping up the meeting, the elders thanked the ANA sub-commander for their assistance with the new mother and the rest of the village.
“The ANA is committed to helping villagers in need. The people of Aji Kah were very appreciative of the assistance provided by the ANA,” a Coalition solider said. “The delivery of a new life in the village is an important milestone. I’m glad we were able to help.”
The combined force returned to their vehicles to continue their mission. The team also visited the 12 families of Molla Ata, which supports a nearby tent encampment that includes another 250 people during their security patrol. The elder, who is also an Imam and school teacher for the village, said although the area is now secure and free from insurgent activity, it has many needs. The ANA and Coalition soldiers provided blankets and jackets to the neediest villagers as a way of showing their concern.
“We are very grateful for the government’s assistance,” an elder said.
“The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan continues to provide for the needs of its citizens,” a Coalition soldier explained. “The ANA is ensuring the safety, security and well-being of the residents of Herat.”