Coalition Doctors, Medics Work
Together to Save Afghan Lives
By Sgt. Stephanie L. Carl
Special to AFPS
Afghanistan — Medical personnel here are passing their knowledge
on to Afghan National Army medics, ensuring the Afghans can take
care of their own soldiers instead of relying on coalition forces’
Dr. (Capt.) Jose Acosta, left, and Army Dr. (Maj.) Lance
Smith, both assigned to the 325th Combat Support Hospital,
remove dead skin from an Afghan boy’s back at Kandahar Airfield,
Afghanistan. Medical professionals work together and share
knowledge to improve medical care throughout Afghanistan.
by Sgt. Stephanie Carl, USA / DoD Photo
now, we’re here to help the ANA," said Army Dr. (Maj.) Lance
Smith, assigned to the 325th Combat Support Hospital at Kandahar
Airfield, Afghanistan. "But we’re working on the long term,"
including teaching follow-on care that is critical to recovery.
staff instructs the families of patients, interpreters and other
medics in the proper way to care for patients after they leave
the hospital. Without proper care, patients run the risk of infection,
which can be life threatening, especially for children.
When ANA 1st
Sgt. Abdul Hai brought his 1-year-old son to Kandahar with third
degree burns over 11 percent of his body, ANA medic Gul Nawaz
was on hand to learn exactly how he would need to treat the boy
after he left the hospital.
he leaves the hospital, I will do everything I have learned here,"
said Nawaz. This includes changing the dressings on the burns,
giving medication, monitoring vital signs and checking for infection.
to taking care of Hai’s son, Nawaz is also better prepared to
take care of his fellow soldiers. It reassures Hai to know his
troops will remain ready to defend Afghanistan. "He will
be able to take care of our soldiers," said Hai of Nawaz.
"This is important to our country."
the only Afghan learning from coalition experts. Interpreters
at the hospital are also learning how to treat patients. "I
have been working with the coalition for nearly three years,"
said Ahamad Ullah Faizi, an interpreter for the hospital.
Faizi in his other job as a principal at a local school. "I
am able to talk to my students when they are sick, and I can find
out what is wrong with them," he said. With that knowledge,
Faizi is able to help his students and their families find treatment
for their ailments and injuries.
in the hospital knows the importance of passing on their knowledge
and takes the time to do what they can to help. "What we’re
doing here is crucial to the people of Afghanistan and the patients,"
said Staff Sgt. Alesia Rice, a licensed practical nurse at the
325th CSH. "The Afghan people … just need someone to
teach them. We’re here helping everybody, and in turn, they can
help their own."