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Medical clinic opens in Kabani

By Sgt. G.P. Ingersoll , 1st Marine Logistics Group

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Iraqi children line up to receive treatment at the new Kabani Medical Clinic Dec. 20.
Iraqi children line up to receive treatment at the new Kabani Medical Clinic Dec. 20.

KABANI (Dec. 28, 2008) — A pair of scissors and a snipped ribbon ushered in a new day for medical treatment here Dec. 20.

The new Kabani Medical Clinic provides a venue for future medical engagements and Iraqi doctors to treat Kabani’s population.

“It’s a wonderful facility with the potential for being used to provide care,” said Navy Lt. Scott N. Margraf, medical officer, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “We’ve done something with positive intentions to do good for a local population, the key to this whole operation out here.”

Kabani, a small village just east of Camp Taqaddum, used to host civil affairs engagements and visits from their own Iraqi medical practitioners in whatever structures they had available. Through a combination of diplomatic action from Iraqi and Coalition Forces, the village now has a necessary venue for health care.

“It gives them a place in which a medical provider can render services, which they didn’t have before,” said Cmdr. Deana J. Miller, family practitioner, 1st Marine Logistics Group.

Miller and Margraf also teamed up with two Iraqi Army medics to conduct a combined medical engagement. The presence of internal Iraqi medics is the next goal, said Miller.

“The next step is getting an Iraqi physician to stay in that town, or who might be assigned to several little towns, so that one day he goes to one clinic and another clinic the next,” said Miller, 41, a native of Temecula, Calif. “How [Iraq’s] Ministry of Health is going to decide how to do that is up to the Iraqis.”

The CME was one of many the 1st MLG has performed since taking over for 2nd MLG in February. The new clinic in Kabani marks the first of many recent steps toward improvements of Iraqi infrastructure.

“It builds the ability for them to support each other,” said Sgt. Maj. Steven Lara, 42, a native of Coolidge, Ariz., sergeant major, 1st MLG. “[The new clinic] gives them an opportunity to live a more normal life … and the population of the town is growing because of the support they receive.”