News: Aiding those who give aid
Story by Spc. Nevada Jack Smith
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army health care officials are reaching out and learning valuable skills at Multinational Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan.
ANA soldiers working in the Garrison Support Unit at MNBTK are met bi-weekly by Australian Capt. Rob Russell who mentors them during their daily sick call operations.
Meeting every Monday and Wednesday at the GSU, Russell sits in with ANA doctors as they treat sick or injured ANA soldiers.
“We don’t have very many capabilities in the garrison clinic. So we are very happy to have coalition soldiers here helping us,” said ANA 1st Lt. Zahir Kamran, a doctor with the medical section of GSU.
Working with their mentors the Afghan medical team develops greater skills every visit.
“We have learned a lot of things from them. I have learned a lot about internal medicine, which helps me be better able to take care of my soldiers,” said Kamran.
Since Russell’s arrival two months ago the ANA soldiers have learned how to effectively triage, and treat appropriate injuries.
“When we first arrived, the ANA would bring every sick or injured soldier to the Role 2 Hospital to get fixed. But we have been able to show them which patients need greater medical care and which can be treated by ANA doctors,” said Russell, who is the medic officer for the Australian Force Support Unit, Role 1.
With limited time to go before a new group of mentors arrive Russell has high hopes for accomplishing much in his time in Afghanistan.
“In the next four and half months I look forward to leaving the ANA medics with the skills to manage their critical patients better and better fit our standards of medical care,” said Russell.
As coalition forces draw back, and prepare to leave the theater of operations, one goal, is to leave the ANA with the skills to better handle their primary and trauma care.
“I think they are moving forward in a steady progression, and are well on their way,” Russell said.