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U.S. Medics Treat Afflicted Afghans

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2002 – A U.S. medical team from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan traveled to a remote community and treated more than 800 patients, Combined Joint Task Force-180 officials said Monday.

A total of 21 soldiers from the 339th Combat Support Hospital flew to Kohe Sofi, a community 20 miles north of Bagram. "They treated the whole range of illnesses," said a CJTF-180 spokeswoman.

The group included optometrists, preventive illness specialists and general practitioners. The 339th, an Army Reserve unit from the Pittsburgh area, set up a treatment facility at the village and examined and treated 800 people, including 400 children.

The medics treated stomach ailments, headaches, eye problems and other common diseases. The medication most often handed out was a deworming medicine. The crew treated infected wounds and swollen limbs and also other, more serious ailments including a child with a severely cleft palate.

"They also spoke to the villagers about the necessity of good hygiene, and the group passed out toothbrushes and toothpaste," the official said.

This was the first medical outreach effort by the 339th, and they are planning others.

In other actions in Afghanistan, coalition forces discovered another arms cache near Khowst. This included 19 cases of ammunition, automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. Forces also found information and laptop computers containing al Qaeda propaganda. Female soldiers searched female Afghans and detained some who had hidden hand grenades in their clothing.

Special operations forces also found documents and an arms cache of small arms, grenades and mortars.

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