Feb. 26, 2008 —
Afghan women have been participating in medical engagements and going to coalition clinics with more frequency and in increasing numbers lately. This shows their increased confidence in Afghan national security forces and coalition forces. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Marie Schult)
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Feb. 24, 2008) — Afghan national security forces, assisted by Coalition forces, provided medical treatment to 210 patients and provided more than one ton of humanitarian aid for 400 Afghans in Hajyano-Qala in the Arghandab District of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 19.
Kuchi elders attended a community development council recently and requested medical and humanitarian aid from the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan representatives.
In response to the villager’s requests for assistance, GIRoA immediately responded with a medical and humanitarian mission, explained a coalition soldier.
The medical team treated most patients for typical cold and flu symptoms, as well as gastrointestinal maladies. Males comprised the largest number of patients, but many females were also present and were receptive to the treatment. Patient’s ages ranged from newborn to 70-years-old. An infant with second degree burns on the arm was referred to the local clinic for further treatment.
“The elders identified people in need, so ANSF forces quickly came together with the appropriate aid package to ease the suffering of the Afghan people,” said Army Capt. Vanessa R. Bowman, a coalition spokesperson.
Village elders prepared to distribute items while the ANSF unloaded a trailer full of medicine and medical supplies, food and vitamins. The combined force brought winter clothes, including sweaters, jackets, shoes and boots. Some families also received toothbrushes, bowls, lotion, soap and infant formula depending on their needs.
After handing out food and supplies and treating minor ailments, the team gave a class on proper oral hygiene techniques and preventive medicine for many of the villagers.
Last week near Geresk, in Helmand province, the medical team treated approximately 500 Afghans at a medical engagement. A significant number of women received medical care indicating a diminishing insurgent influence in the area and a continued upward trend in female attendance at medical and humanitarian-aid missions in southern Afghanistan.
“Missions such as this greatly improve the health and welfare of villagers who live in very remote locations like Hajyano-Qala,” according to Bowman. “Villagers are learning that they can trust ANSF and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to provide for their needs.”