News: Medical training helps empower Afghan National Security Forces
Story by Cpl. Mariah Best
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Relationships in southern Afghanistan continue to grow as International Security Assistance Forces advise and assist the Afghan National Army to help them improve their skill sets through familiarization training at the Kandahar Regional Military Hospital.
Members from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Multinational Medical Unit recently conducted mechanical ventilation introductory training for 16 members of the KRMH medical staff.
The class covered a variety of topics on ventilators, which are machines designed to perform the breathing mechanism for patients who cannot sufficiently do so on their own.
Lessons covered indications, modes, pressures, and general considerations of the machine.
The main instructor for the course was Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jimmy Suvatne, medical doctor of pulmonary and critical care medicine of the NATO Role 3 combat hospital, MMU, at Kandahar Airfield.
“My hope was to give them a basis for basic waveform analysis on the ventilator, it is one tool we use to assess how the patient is doing and how they are tolerating the ventilator,” Suvatne said.
Although the course was only a few hours long, it served its purpose to provide additional resources to KRMH.
“The people from KRMH that attended asked great questions, which led to very good dialogue,” Capt. David Collins, executive officer of the NATO MMU, said. “Medical training, especially ventilator training via an interpreter is difficult, at best. Their docs seemed very appreciative of our effort.”
The staff at KRMH is taking full advantage of the resources and relationships they have developed.
“The KRMH probably has some of the few ventilators owned by Afghans in the country. Consequently, they will become the subject matter experts in ventilator management and (Intensive Care Unit),” Suvatne said. “Ventilators are one of the reasons ICUs exist; they are a basic tool of any ICU. The staff at KRMH has done a good job providing trauma care, and ICU-level care as well. “
Moving forward, KRMH now has more people to resource when it comes to ICU operations, and has ultimately improved and helped with the successes of operations throughout the hospital.
“I think the success of KRMH is a huge deal. They seem to give excellent care given the limited resources and personnel,” Suvatne said. “I would envision KRMH as a place where future and current Afghan doctors can train, or practice there for some time and bring their skills to other parts of the country in need.”
With better tools and a better skill set, KRMH has a developing edge.
“We believe that KRMH is the best hospital – military or civilian – in Afghanistan. They are very self-sufficient and provide great care,” Collins said. “Our alliance with them will make them better; we’ll be able to provide them additional training in the future that will lead to better care and a better relationship with their physicians. We will also be able to tailor the training to any specific needs that they may have.”
With the help of Brigadier General Seyed Azim Hussaini, the commander of KRMH and the 205th /215th Medical Command, this working relationship remains successful.
“We are very fortunate; KRMH is a very, very good hospital,” Collins said. “They have come a long way under the leadership of General Azim. He is a very good doctor and leader, anything we can do to help them, we’re happy to do.”