News: Women top priority at Wardak medical center
Story by Spc. Matthew Thompson
WARDAK PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Seated around a conference room table, Afghan women listened intently as an Army physician discussed medical concerns in the Mayden Shahr Women's Center, May 2.
Maj. Carla Brown, a physician with Company C, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, sat in the middle of the long conference table teaching the women assembled preventive medicine and advising them on medical concerns they have.
"We're trying to teach them their health is important," Brown said. "I think the classes will help the women to realize that there is significance in preventive health measures for them."
Brown and her team have started a series of classes for the women that should begin immediately. She added that both parties would like to continue the classes on a monthly basis.
"It's very rewarding," Brown said of the classes. "It's a chance to get to know the women on a more personal basis and find out they are not all that different from us."
The health classes were not the only aid that the women's center coordinated. There was also a humanitarian aid drop arranged by Capt. Tammy Lanning, an intelligence officer with 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment.
According to Lanning, it was the second largest humanitarian aid drop the women's center had received.
"They are very grateful and appreciative of what they receive," Lanning added. "They have smiles on their faces and thanked us for being here to help them."
When it comes to the supplies of food, clothing and blankets, the women will take as much as they can get, Lanning added.
The director of the women's center and Lanning plan on expanding the services they offer by adding a vocational school. The land has already been donated to the women's center and the cost of construction will come from the Commander's Emergency Response Program.
The teachers for the school will focus on skills such as pickling, sewing and other crafts. The school will be used by the women and teenage girls in Wardak province. Brown said these women are very strong and intelligent and want to do a lot for the future of Afghanistan.
"We work with all different types of women at the center, but they all have one thing in common. They are very caring and want what is best for their families," Lanning added.