March 19, 2008 —
Senior Airman Felicita Torres-Perkins, an International Security Assistance Force medic, passes out internal parasite treatment medication to children in Jarullah village.
KABUL, Afghanistan (March 17, 2008) — Afghan health care providers from the Qalat provincial hospital joined International Security Assistance Force medical personnel from the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team for a visit to the village of Jarullah.
Two Afghan nurses, along with the PRT’s doctor and medic, provided vitamins and intestinal parasite treatment to about 150 Afghan men, women and children.
While this visit was an initiative to assist the people of Jarullah, the main objective was for the local nurses to obtain medicine and demonstrate how they could take care of the villagers themselves.
“This mission was important because it is outreach to the community,” said Senior Airman Felicita Torres-Perkins, Zabul PRT medic. “As a medic, my task was to give the women prenatal and multi-vitamins so they can build up their tolerance to viruses and diseases and have a healthier life.”
“Our goal today was to see as many women and children as possible and my personal goal is to try to help the Afghan people improve their quality of life,” said Airman Torres-Perkins.
Dr. (Capt.) James Arnold, family practice doctor with the Zabul PRT, oversaw the visit and coordinated the medical efforts of the Afghan nurses from the Qalat hospital.
“I went over the medications with the local nurses, and they were very familiar with all of them,” said Dr. Arnold. “They saw the patients and gave out the medicine. Eventually, I’d like to see them get medicine on their own and treat the villagers themselves. Our job here is not to do the work ourselves, but to empower the Afghan people to take care of each other.”
Dr. Arnold’s other goal is to help with women’s healthcare problems.
“I think women’s health is the biggest concern I have,” Dr. Arnold said. “If there’s any opportunity to empower women to learn midwife skills or nursing, if there’s a way I can pass on that knowledge to them, I would think of it as a great success.”