News: Kandahar Afghan National Army soldiers celebrate opening of new military clinic
Story by Sgt. Thomas Duval
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – For the past several months, Afghan National Army medics have trained with their International Security Assistance Forces counterparts to learn, practice and ultimately master some of the most advanced medical practices used on today’s battlefields.
As a result, hundreds of Afghan combat medics are entering the battlefield better prepared to treat both Afghan National Security Forces, as well as the Afghan populace.
Despite their constant efforts to stay on the forefront of medicine, a lack of supplies and modern facilities continues to hinder Afghan medical personnel, but for the Afghan soldiers in southern Kandahar Province that’s a fight that has come to an end.
ANSF members in Kandahar celebrated the opening of a new military clinic earlier this week. The new facility features more than 150 rooms and offers many different amenities, such as an X-ray room, pharmacy, a dental room, nursing station, a hearing exam room and a vision exam room.
“We are very happy to have the new facility,” said Abdun Rahman, a medical doctor with the ANA’s 205th Corps. “We are very appreciative of the American people, and we are excited for the capabilities the updates allow us to perform, and we have seen a lot of improvement.”
Many of the ANA medical staff shared Rahman’s enthusiasm and were very excited for the future with their new aid station.
“In the past, we had a bad facility that made treating patients difficult,” said Abdul Hamid, a nurse with the 205th Corps.
“We are now able to treat, transport and house patients,” said Col. Muhammad Hakim, medical doctor with ANA’s 205th Corps.
Hakim said being able to provide 24-hour services to the people of Afghanistan has drastically lowered the number of patients being referred to the higher echelons for care.
A pharmacy stocked with both preventive medicines, as well as over the counter drugs, allows the ANA to treat minor illnesses on the spot with a simple recommendation from the Afghan doctors.
Hakim highlighted, since the opening of the aid station, the number of medical evacuations to Kandahar Regional Hospital has gone from 150 to 200 patients a week down to just three. He said he hopes to bring the number of medevacs to zero as more medics and doctors continue to complete advanced training.
Rahman added the capabilities of the medical staff and aid station should continue to improve as the unit prepares to double its current staff as well as its equipment count.
The ANA, in support of the ANSF, continues to lead the way in medicine, as well as improve its ability to self-sustain and support lower levels of governance.