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Archive for the ‘hospitals’ Category

This is a very touching article, and it is sad at the same time. Thank God for our guys.

Coalition, Afghan Soldiers save baby girl.
by Media Center Bagram
Bagram Media Center.
January 9, 2008
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Coalition medics stabilize a 1-year-old girl who was badly burned when she fell into a fire used to heat her family’s home in the Lashkar Gah District, Helmand Province. Coalition and Afghan National Security Forces worked together to save the girl’s life and arranged her transport to another military outpost with more substantial medical capabilities. She was escorted to the new military outpost by her uncle. Photo by Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – ANSF and CF saved the life of a 1-year-old girl after she was badly burned falling into a fire used to heat her family’s home in Lashkar Gah District in Helmand Province. Coalition medics immediately began lifesaving efforts after her family brought her to a combined military outpost. Doctors assessed the girl’s condition and determined she was burned over 20 percent of her body, including burns to her face, arms, scalp and hands. Medics arranged for a helicopter to take the child, escorted by her uncle, to another military outpost with more medical capabilities in the nearby Washir District of Helmand Province. Doctors prepared, cleaned and dressed the baby’s burns. “While there are clinics and medical facilities in Helmand District, sometimes it is difficult for villagers in outlying areas to access that care,” explained a Coalition forces medic. “ANSF and Coalition forces were able to work together to save this little girl’s life. Even though insurgents have made life difficult for villagers in this region, ANSF are committed to providing for the well being and security of the Afghan people.”

I pray this young child lives throught this ordeal. I know the medics who worked on her certainly do, too.

Coalition troops aid Afghan students in Bagram.
by Media Center Bagram
Jan. 8, 2008

Bagram Media Center.

A Coalition servicemember chats with a young student at the Jan Qadam School, near Bagram Village, Parwan Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 6, while Haji Enr Yatullah, the school’s principal and a village elder, look on. Servicemembers brought donated winter clothes, shoes, toys and school supplies to the school to show their support for villagers.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — It was a banner day Jan. 6 for children attending the Jan Qadam School near Bagram village. Coalition troops assigned to Bagram Airfield stopped by the school, which is near the airfield, to visit with children, teachers and village elders, as well as deliver several boxes of school supplies and toys. The eight-room schoolhouse caters to more than 1,000 students daily, in three shifts. The students range in age from 5 to 15 years old. Fifteen servicemembers entered the village carrying boxes of supplies for the children.

Once they arrived at the school, village elders distributed the items to the children, boys in one classroom and girls in another. The children laughed and smiled as they received their gifts, which included notebooks, pencils, crayons and toys. Some students received new shoes and personal hygiene items.

Haji Enr Yatullah, the school’s principal and a village elder, said being good neighbors is important for the well-being of the village. “You not only help me, but you help all the villages around here,” Yatullah said. … In addition to delivering school supplies and other goods, CF met with village elders to see what other types of assistance they could provide. [Continue reading.]

Many Americans send supplies for the children, such as pencils, pens, paper, crayons, backpacks, and even clothes. If you are interested in sending something to the children, there are many organizations which you can go through. Soldiers’ Angels is a good source to find what you are for.

Corps of Engineers completes al Mahaweel clinic.
by John Connor
Jan. 9, 2008
Gulf Region Division, US Army Corps of Engineers
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The Al Mahaweel Primary Healthcare Clinic in Babil Province was recently completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division South district.

BABIL PROVINCE, Iraq — Work is complete on a primary healthcare center at al Mahaweel in Babil Province. The facility was constructed for about $1 million under two construction contracts and five non-construction contacts, according to Robin Parks, health sector program manager for the Gulf Region South District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. GRS does construction and reconstruction work in the nine southern provinces of Iraq. The money for the clinic was provided under the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund. The non-construction contracts provided medical equipment, plus installation and training, as well as electrical generators, furniture and office equipment, Parks said. [Continue reading.]

Our guys and gals are doing so many good works that go unnoticed by the dinosaur media day in and day out, it makes me wonder if they truly want us to win. Just thinking, ya know?

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Source: CentCom.

by Norris Jones
Jan. 7 2008
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BAGHDAD, Iraq – Extensive renovations will soon be complete at one of Sadr City’s major hospitals in east Baghdad. Al Baladi Maternity and Children’s Hospital initially opened in 1982 and during the following two decades little was spent on routine maintenance, said Iraqi Project Engineer Mohammad Attar, who oversees the hospital’s upgrade for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “During Saddam’s time, patients there had to tolerate 100-degree-plus interior temperatures because the air conditioning system was broke,” he explained.

The $12 million, three-year renovation included the installation of four new chillers, four cooling towers and four new boilers. “Those improvements helped the elderly and infants, who have little tolerance for heat and cold. The hospital is now able to maintain a comfortable interior temperature in both summer and winter,” Attar noted. Other improvements include an oxygen plant, central vacuum system, nurse call system, intercom paging system, data communications network, new toilets and showers, new exhaust system to remove unhealthy air, new generator for emergency power, medical waste incinerator, and new water purification system.

The medical staff of eight doctors and thirty nurses is treating five times the number of sick people they saw prior to the renovation. They’re seeing 150 to 200 patients daily, 80 percent of which are children. Their obstetric department is delivering 30 to 40 newborns every day. “One of their main goals is reducing the infant mortality rate and the new equipment is making a difference,” Attar said. The two-story hospital has a bed capacity for 200 patients.

More than 100 Iraqis have been part of the construction crew. They installed a new roof, put in new plumbing and electrical, rebuilt the physicians’ family-size apartments, added a new cafeteria area and kitchen, new lighting, new plastering, redid all the floors and ceilings, new surgical theater suite and x-ray equipment.

“It’s truly rewarding to know we’ve helped some of the poorest people in Baghdad,” Attar said. “They were tolerating absolutely horrible conditions. The toilets were overflowing, the air was stagnant, the medical equipment was outdated and much of it didn’t work. Despite ongoing insurgency threats, the contractor kept making steady progress. Today, Sadr City families have a modern facility and access to equipment that was simply not available three years ago. We’re all proud to have been a part of the effort.”

An Iraqi woman cares for her child at a newly renovated hospital in Sadr City, Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo).

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Source: .

19 DEC 2007
By Staff Sgt. Mike Andriacco, USAF
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
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FORWARD OPERATING BASE HERO, Afghanistan – Airmen in a medical mentoring team here have been working hard to ensure the successful opening of an Afghan National Army hospital for the past several months. The team’s original mission was to mentor their Afghan counterparts and teach them medical skills to treat Afghan military and police members, said Air Force Col. Mike Skidmore, the team’s senior mentor officer and administrator.

All that changed when the team arrived several months ago, he said. The hospital was 500 days behind schedule, and instead of finding equipment and eager ANA medical personnel, the team found an empty, incomplete facility. “We had to move from a mentoring mission to a new mindset of equipping the hospital, opening it and then mentoring,” said Air Force Col. (Dr.) Thomas Seay, the senior medical mentor and chief radiologist.

Most of the state-of-the-art equipment, to include a digital X-ray and digital ultrasound machines, were purchased by the United States, with some items – such as wheelchairs — donated by a nonprofit organization based in Canada, he said. The hospital is one of the most advanced of its kind in the southern region of Afghanistan.

“Phase one of the construction consisted of a $5.6 million, 50-bed main hospital,” Skidmore said. “It will serve the entire ANA 205th Corps, including four combat brigades, their associated garrison clinics and more than 27,000 ANA soldiers, Afghan National Police and their families. There are two isolation rooms, one trauma room, two operating rooms, and an intensive care ward that can accommodate up to six patients.” One of the most impressive elements of the project is the water processing plant, he added. It uses a multi-stage process to clean and sterilize water to the standard necessary for hospital conditions and also is being used as a model for future water plants throughout the country. Contractors also recently broke ground on phase two, a $2.6 million hospital expansion that will house an additional 50 patients, Skidmore said.

With the hospital ribbon-cutting held Dec. 15, the mentoring team now is looking forward to starting the job it came to do. The team is made up of a total of 18 airmen: three doctors, three nurses, three administrators, a radiologist, a pharmacist, a medic, two lab technicians, a pharmacy technician, a radiology technician, a biomedical equipment technician and a logistician. Team members will work with their Afghan counterparts to create a baseline of skills, Seay said. There also will be a lot of focus on sterilization and sustainment of equipment and resources, he added.

Together, the team hopes its efforts can help the Afghan National Army to rebuild the country and be effective at maintaining peace and security. “This is arguably the best ANA hospital in the entire country, given the building, the equipment and the water treatment plant, but the most impressive part of this hospital is its staff,” Skidmore said. “They are incredibly excited and enthusiastic to learn new clinical and managerial techniques in health care.”

Photo – Air Force Tech. Sgt. Edward Weaver, a medic deployed from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., instructs Afghan National Army medical personnel on spinal immobilization techniques at the newly opened Kandahar ANA regional hospital in Afghanistan. The medical mentoring team arrived to find the construction 500 days behind schedule and immediately took on the task of supplying the hospital and getting it opened before continuing the mission of mentoring Afghan National Army medical personnel. Photo by Col. (Dr.) Thomas Seay, USAF.

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25 Aug 07
By Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein
U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs
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HERO CAMP, Afghanistan – Airmen and soldiers are blending medical supply logistics with a dose of Afghan National Army partnership in a dusty warehouse at ANA’s Hero Camp near Kandahar Airfield.

It’s a prescription for successful mentoring as the Afghans prepare for a new hospital opening here, said Capt. Jay Snodgrass, a medical logistics officer and ANA mentor deployed from Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The American servicemembers are helping install medical equipment into a new $6.5 million, 50-bed hospital at Hero Camp. “We’re simply here to help them improve the processes they already have in place, to share with them the lessons we’ve learned about hospital administration and logistics,” Snodgrass said.

The airmen and soldiers helping transfer equipment are medical logistics, administrators and equipment technician members for their respective services assigned to the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which is headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan. While in Kandahar, the servicemembers work side-by-side with their Afghan counterparts, who are responsible for supplying and equipping the Hero Camp hospital, as well as other ANA clinics and brigade support throughout the region.

Mentoring doesn’t always come easy, said Tech. Sgt. Curtis Miller, a medical logistics technician from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. While Miller’s focus is to teach Afghans how to maintain hospital equipment, he and other embedded transition team members use every available opportunity to give advice where needed. “There is a learning curve,” Miller said. “A lot of the things we take for granted in the United States, such as changing gloves for each patient, are things Afghans typically don’t consider in a hospital. We try to spend time educating them on the benefits of sanitation and ways to prevent infection.”

Miller said when he first began as a mentor, he was a little unsure how a young, American noncommissioned officer would come across to an Afghan military man who has served longer than the sergeant has been alive. It was unnerving to say the least. “There is an Afghan colonel we work with who was put in prison during the Russian occupation two decades ago,” Miller said. “He was given execution orders and was two days away from being put to death when the Russians pulled out of Afghanistan — two days away from being killed. Now, he has those orders on display in his office. You see this and you think, man, these guys have been through a lot.”

Nevertheless, the Afghan officials are eager to learn and work with their American mentors.

“My mentor, Captain Snodgrass, and I are very close,” said Afghan Maj. Abdul Ghafar, the 205th Hero Corps warehouse commander. “The Americans work fairly with each other and with us. We interact as equals.”

The relationship between the Americans and Afghans is a result of respect and tolerance from both sides, Snodgrass said. “Major Ghabar has 27 years military experience,” he said. “He knows a lot about leading troops and warfare. What he doesn’t have full knowledge of is how to manage a warehouse of this magnitude, to take care of the logistics of supplying a hospital and an entire region with 30,000 troops. So, that’s why I’m here, to help him become familiar with the various processes.” Snodgrass pointed out that the Americans are not there to impose their way of life on the Afghan people. Instead, they are learning from each other.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations about our different cultures,” he said. “They wanted to know about some of the Christian holidays I celebrate. It’s not a big deal to them that I practice a different religion than they do.”

At the same time, Snodgrass and his team of Americans try to accommodate the Islamic traditions of the Afghans into their work. “We try to work around their prayer schedule,” he said. “Sometimes, we have to keep working through the prayer times, but then we step away and give them their space to lay out their prayer rugs and do what they need to do. We try to be aware of their holidays, too. For example, I won’t eat or drink in front of them during Ramadan, when they fast. When it comes down to it, it’s just about respecting each other.”

Snodgrass said he is confident about Ghabar’s leadership, and that the hospital and its warehouse will do well in the future as the Afghans gain experience in stocking and equipping such a vital mission. “What we are doing here is just part of an overall mission to help Afghans stand up a viable, safe, world-class healthcare system,” he said. “The day they can take on these operations themselves without our assistance will be a very good day for all of us.”

Photo – U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Doug Suddueth (bottom left) and Army Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rivas move a load of medical equipment to a truck Aug. 18 in Afghanistan. Suddueth is deployed from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Rivas is deployed from Fort Sam Houston, Texas. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi.

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21 Aug 07
By Staff Sgt. Kenya Shiloh
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Public Affairs
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DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti – Members of the 350th Civil Affairs Command Special Functions Team donated eight pallets of excess medical supplies valued at $800,000 to the Pelltia Hospital in Djibouti, July 25.

Items such as pajamas, oxygen masks, sheets, gauze bandages, knee braces, surgical instruments and humidifiers were flown in from warehouses in Qatar and Bahrain to be delivered to the hospital. From there, the supplies will be dispersed to hospitals and clinics throughout the region.

“The pallets are excess medical property and if we don’t accept it, it’s literally just buried in the sand and it all goes to waste,” said Army Lt. Col. Alana Conley, 350th medical team chief. “Basically every clinic and hospital in Djibouti and throughout the Horn of Africa can use medical supplies. Items that are usually expendable to us, they’re reusing. The supplies will be used to improve patient care overall.”

Dr. Christian Oman Glele, acting chief of staff was on-hand to accept the property once it was offloaded from the trucks with the help of people in the local community. “Thank you a lot for the medical supplies,” said Glele. “Offloading the material is a big job, but now patients have access to good equipment which is very beneficial for the hospital.”

Other civil affairs teams throughout the Horn of Africa also received medical supplies to distribute to hospitals and clinics in their respective countries. “Everywhere we’ve been, every hospital and clinic we’ve looked at, didn’t have enough supplies,” said Air Force Maj. Pauline Lucas, 350th public health officer. “Some hospitals even rewash bandages. We know that with this property, we could do more for them. We went to look at their supply warehouse and it was bare. When we looked at it, we were like wow, we have all these excess items; we can fulfill their need.”

In the future, the 350th Civil Affairs Command Special Functions Team plans to send first aid shelter kits to field hospitals in Garrissa and Bal Bala, Kenya, as well as clinics throughout Tanzania and Djibouti. Dr. Madian Said, the Pelltia Hospital’s chief of staff who also runs medical caravans throughout the country, will use some of the first aid shelter kits to help fight cholera outbreaks in the region.

Photo – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Swain, and Air Force Maj. Pauline Lucas, 350th Civil Affairs Command Special Functions Team, offload medical supplies at the Pelltia Hospital in Djibouti with the help of local residents. More than eight pallets of supplies and equipment valued at $800,000 were donated to the hospital, July 25. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenya Shiloh.

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14 Aug 07
Sgt. Robert Yde
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Public Affairs
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FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq – With the opening of Montpetit Pool here last month, Soldiers from the 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have had a daily escape from the summer heat.

While most Soldiers are making use of the cool water for leisure, another group of Soldiers meet at the pool every Saturday to work through injuries sustained during their current deployment.

“Normally, in the states, where you have the gym with the pool, you always incorporate pool therapy,” said Sgt. John Hart, a physical therapist with Company C, 15th Brigade Support Battalion. “It allows you to become more functional, faster without compromising the rehab for certain injuries. If you’re doing weights or standard exercises in the gym, there’s always that fine line where you can be doing the exercises and the next thing you know, the patient has a setback because maybe the resistance is too much,” he said.

The pool gives Soldiers both a strengthening and an aerobic workout, according to Capt. Matthew Larson, physical therapist, Co. C, 15th Bde. Spt. Bn. “The water provides good resistance for limb movement and it’s a good lower impact, but still vigorous, workout for people with certain injuries.”

Patients also meet twice a week at the FOB’s gym and three times a week at the troop medical clinic, but Sgt. Hart said the pool sessions are patients’ favorite part of therapy.

According to Spc. Tyler Burdette, Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, who is currently undergoing physical therapy after tearing a ligament in his knee, pool therapy is his most demanding workout. “It’s the hardest, most strenuous thing we do,” he said. “But it helps because a lot of times, with injuries, you can’t support your own body weight, and that’s the hardest part about working out.”

Like Spc. Burdette, most Soldiers undergoing pool therapy have lower-body injuries, and most of the exercises are designed to work patients’ ankles and knees. “It’s mainly a lower extremity workout, so we start with just some basic leg stretches and then some non-impact exercises like flutter kicks,” said Capt. Larson. “If you have a knee injury or an ankle injury, you can get a good workout because you’re still moving everything, but you’re not impacting that injury as hard as you would by running in formation.”

Individual, upper body exercises are integrated into the program for Soldiers like Sgt. Amanda Sweesy, who has been undergoing physical therapy for her rotator cuff since March. “It doesn’t cause me as much pain as the gym, so I don’t mind it at all,” said Sgt. Sweesy, Co. B, 15th BSB.

Even uninjured Soldiers can benefit from pool therapy, said Sgt. Hart. “You can do it for preventive stuff,” he said. “I have a lot of people who have found out about the pool therapy and they ask me, ‘Is there any exercise I can do in the pool for my PT?'”

The Army has only recently started assigning physical therapists to brigade combat teams. According to Sgt. Hart, it minimizes the time Soldiers may have to spend recovering away from the unit at combat support hospitals. “It was really demanding on the units because they need the manpower to continue on and do the mission,” he said. Physical therapy this far forward is a really good idea. I think it’s helping the brigade combat teams stay in the fight better.”

Photo – Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stretch out before beginning a session of pool therapy Aug. 11. The brigade’s physical therapist, Capt. Matthew Larson, added pool therapy to Soldiers’ rehabilitation program after Montpetit Pool opened at central Baghdad’s Forward Operating Base Prosperity in July. Photo by Sgt. Robert Yde.

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