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    Team Zabul treats animals, fosters relationships



    Courtesy Story

    International Security Assistance Force HQ Public Affairs

    KABUL, Afghanistan — A joint team of U.S. Army and local veterinarians from southern Afghanistan travelled through Taliban safe havens to provide much needed medical attention to animals in the outlying districts of Zabul province.

    Members of the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team, Embedded Training Team, Army veterinarians, and Afghan para-veterinarians took part in a 10-day veterinarian medical outreach programme in the districts of Suri and Argendab. The mission provided care for subsistence animals in areas not usually reached by veterinarian care.

    The mission began in the northern part of Zabul province where, with the help of ISAF members at Forward Operating Base Lane, the team cared for about 250 animals. Most were treated for worms and some for external wounds. Several farmers brought their herds to the FOB to be seen by the Vet Team.

    "This type of mission is so important for the people of Zabul province," said U.S. Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Errico. "Animals in this area are used for subsistence - the farmers raise theses animals to provide food for their families."

    Over the past five years, the animal population in Zabul has decreased by roughly 70%. In 2003, the province had a total of 800,000 subsistence animals. By 2008, that number had decreased to 54,000.

    "The goal of this mission was not only to treat the animals but also to build capacity in the Afghan para vets," said Errico. "We were there to help build trust between the Afghan people and the local para vets."

    The second part of the trip took place in the district of Suri. The team travelled with the ETT to villages surrounding FOB Wolverine where a $100 million expansion is underway and the number of American Forces will increase in the upcoming months. The partnership of the PRT, the Vet Team, the para vets, ETT and Afghan national security forces to provide assistance to the people of the surrounding villages has helped to foster positive relations between locals and coalition forces in the area.

    Over the course of five days the team travelled to five villages and treated a nearly 1500 animals.

    This was more than just a veterinarian mission. With the expansion of FOB Wolverine and the increase of troops, the mission also turned into relationship building. The team travelled to villages directly affected by the expansion of the FOB, and were very well received.

    "It was very important to reach out to these villages, if not only to help treat their animal population, but to increase the support of the Government of Zabul and the coalition forces," commented Errico. The success of this mission is a direct credit to the teamwork of the Zabul PRT Zabul and the visiting Army veterinarians.



    Date Taken: 06.06.2009
    Date Posted: 06.06.2009 02:02
    Story ID: 34628
    Location: KABUL, AF 

    Web Views: 632
    Downloads: 620