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Press Release | Feb. 26, 2009

Coalition troops care for people of Oruzgan

By None , U.S. Forces - Afghanistan


U.S. Forces Afghanistan

February 26, 2009

Release Number 20092602-02

Coalition troops care for people of Oruzgan

KABUL, Afghanistan - The hope for a healthier life grows strong in Deh Rawod District, Oruzgan Province, thanks to troops from multiple nations dedicated to the medical well-being of the Afghan people.

Medical professionals from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan, U.S. Police Mentoring Team, Danish Provincial Reconstruction Team, the French military and Afghanistan are working together by staffing and operating two clinics in Deh Rawod.

"This clinic shows the Afghan people that help is available to them if needed," said a Civil Affairs medic. "I’ve been working at the clinic since December and, depending on the weather, we’ve generally been

seeing 300 to 400 people a week."

From basic ailments to serious illnesses and injuries, the international medical troops provide the best possible care to a large number of people who would not normally have access to proper medical assistance, added the Civil Affairs medic. Some of the ailments treated at this clinic, as well as the Dutch and French clinics, include body aches, colds, flu, nausea, skin or muscle infections, gastrointestinal reflux disease and kidney infections.

For basic medical treatment, people are seen at this more centralized clinic, said the Civil Affairs medic. For treatment of more serious injuries, such as broken bones, extensive burns and serious illnesses, a nearby clinic operated by the Dutch Provincial Reconstruction Team is consulted.

"Our clinic specializes in eyesight and life and limb saving. Since this past October, we’ve seen approximately 100 people a week," said Sgt. 1st Class Frank Deboer, a medical nurse for the Dutch Battle group.

In addition to having medical doctors, the Dutch PRT also has female medical staff members who work at both the Dutch and Civil Affairs clinics, said Deboer. Having the females provide care at the clinics helps to bridge a cultural divide in Afghanistan.

"The female nurses are able to provide health care for women in the surrounding areas," said Sergeant Deboer.

"It is really unique here. Women come here to be treated (unescorted)."

"I fully support our clinic’s mission," said Private 1st Class Chris Macomber, a medic with the U.S. PMT. "Our being here greatly improves the quality of life for the Afghans in Deh Rawood."

One recent example of this is a young girl suffering from cerebral palsy.

"The girl was having trouble with her leg brace," said Sergeant Deboer. "It was causing her great discomfort. We helped provide transportation for the girl’s family to Kandahar, where she was able to have her brace modified and receive specialized shoes to fit her better."

Another example was a very sick little girl who was brought in and evaluated by medical personnel, said the Civil Affairs medic. She was taken to the Dutch PRT for an additional assessment and medically evacuated to a hospital in Tarin Kowt. The girl was diagnosed with tetanus and received the treatment she needed.

A CJSOTF - A spokesman called the medical care a huge step in the right direction to a peaceful and stable country and added that Coalition Forces are working together to assist the people of Oruzgan, and other communities all over Afghanistan. 

CJSOTF is a Special Forces command that partners with Afghan National Security Forces in conducting counter-insurgency operations. Their operations include training ANSF, working with Provincial Reconstruction Teams to rebuild key infrastructure and communities, and providing medical and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

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United States Forces Afghanistan’s mission, in coordination with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, is to conduct operations to defeat terrorist networks and insurgents by developing effective governance and building the Afghan National Security Force.  Effective security throughout the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan facilitates continued regional stability and increases economic development for the people of Afghanistan.

Contact Information - US Forces Afghanistan Public Affairs Office

Tel +93 (0) 799 51 2919 or cell phone 93 (0) 707 355 965