News: Afghan medics put to the challenge
Story by Capt. Amanda Kehrrington
BAGRAM, Afghanistan – As the first snowfall of the year came down, Afghan National Army medics competed in treating patients in a trauma lane in a combat environment scenario Dec. 29 here.
The 212th Combat Support Hospital created an ANA equivalent to the U.S. Army Expert Field Medical Badge. Based on a scoring system the ANA medics received a gold, silver or bronze medal. The ANA soldiers also received a medical patch and a certificate of training for their expertise.
Sgt. 1st Class Jaidon Douglas, 212th CSH medical noncommissioned officer in charge and a native of Savannah, Ga., came up with the idea to train the ANA medical team and test their knowledge.
“I was on a transition team in Iraq and we did something similar to test medical proficiency. We decided to design an ANA EFMB, an ANA Medical Challenge,” said Douglas.
The ANA medics completed numerous tasks under extreme pressure including evacuate a casualty, initiate treatment, treat an abdominal wound, head wound and eye laceration.
“We do not have a lot of experience and I am very thankful to the Americans for putting in so much effort to teach us,” said Abdula Kanahga, ANA medic. “Everything I learned was important and I am now prepared to help someone someday in combat.”
With less than a week prior to redeployment, the soldiers of the 212th CSH spent countless hours of research to make this event comparable to the EFMB for the ANA.
“I am glowing, I could not have asked for more. All the effort from everyone is phenomenal, they are working through lunch, it’s cold, and they are less than a week from redeployment. I am so proud of the whole team” said Cpl. Shanna Green, 212th CSH healthcare specialist and native of Duluth, Minn.
Green is an EFMB recipient and was thrilled to use her skills to train the ANA.
“Most of them absorbed the training and they did the lanes without flaw. They received gold medals across the board,” said Spc. Ryan Hinojosa, 212th CSH healthcare specialist and native of Chandler, Ariz. “The few that are lacking in a few areas, we plan to continue the training so they improve as well.”
The event was a huge success ending in an award presentation ceremony for all the medic’s hard work and trauma skills.
“We started from zero, and now we are proficient because the U.S. Army taught us these medical skills”, said Command Sgt. Maj. Mohammad Nadim, ANA Medical Clinic sergeant major.