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Afghan Troops Save Mother, Child in Emergency Baby Delivery

American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Jan. 14, 2008 – The Afghan National Army’s 207th Kandak, advised by coalition forces, provided emergency medical assistance to save the lives of a mother and her newborn infant Jan. 10 in the remote village of Aji Kah, in the Gozara district of Afghanistan’s Herat province.

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An Afghan National Army subcommander from 207th Kandak greets village elders in Molla Ata, in the Gozara district of Afghanistan’s Herat province, Jan. 10, 2008. Afghan and coalition soldiers conducting a security patrol through the area stopped in the village to meet with village elders and provide supplies needed to help residents get through the Afghan winter. U.S. Army photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The kandak -- equivalent to a U.S. Army battalion -- was conducting a security patrol in the area when two men flagged down the soldiers, asking for medical assistance for one of the village’s residents. They told the Afghan army crew a woman had severe stomach cramps and needed immediate care.

“Please take the woman to the hospital. She will surely die if she is not taken immediately,” a village elder said.

The elders explained the harsh weather and deep snow prevented them from taking the woman to the district hospital themselves. They led the Afghan and coalition soldiers to the home to see how they could assist. What they found surprised the soldiers. When they entered the rural home, crowded with family members and a midwife, they found a young Afghan woman suffering from complications from giving birth.

“The baby is still connected,” a male relative said.

The medic quickly finished delivering the infant and then provided both the mother and baby post-natal care.

The Afghan soldiers navigated through the deep snow to transport mother and infant, as well as a male relative, to the Gozara district hospital for further care after they were stabilized for travel. Both mother and child were reported to be in good condition.

While the Afghan and coalition medics were assisting the mother and infant, the rest of the combined force saw to the medical needs of villagers, while others held talks with village elders.

Aji Kah is a tiny village of only 150 residents. The village makes its livelihood off livestock herds of more than 1,000 sheep and goats. While the remote village has no doctor, medical clinic, or vehicle to take residents to the district hospital, only 20 villagers asked for medical checkups during the impromptu stop. Most of the villagers were treated for cold and flu symptoms. Villagers also received blankets and jackets to help keep them warm through the cold Afghan winter.

Afghan and coalition soldiers also met with village elders to determine the needs of the residents of the rural Herat community. One of the elders invited the team into his home, where they held a conversation over tea.

The elder said this was one of the first times Afghan army teams had visited the village. He had heard of the trips to other local villages in the area and had requested assistance for his residents. Wrapping up the meeting, the elders thanked the Afghan National Army subcommander for the troops’ assistance with the new mother and the rest of the village.

“The ANA is committed to helping villagers in need. The people of Aji Kah were very appreciative of the assistance provided by the ANA,” a coalition soldier said. “The delivery of a new life in the village is an important milestone. I’m glad we were able to help.”

The combined forces returned to their vehicles to continue their mission. The team also visited the 12 families of Molla Ata, which supports a nearby tent encampment that includes another 250 people, during their security patrol. The elder, who is also an imam and school teacher for the village, said although the area is now secure and free from insurgent activity, it has many needs. The Afghan and coalition soldiers provided blankets and jackets to the neediest villagers as a way of showing their concern.

“We are very grateful for the government’s assistance,” an elder said.

(From a Combined Joint Task Force 82 news release.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Joint Task Force 82
NATO International Security Assistance Force

Click photo for screen-resolution imageThis newborn Afghan infant was brought into the world with assistance from Afghan National Army and coalition medics Jan 10, 2008. Villagers of Molla Ata, in the Gozara district of Afghanistan’s Herat province, flagged down the soldiers, who were conducting a security patrol in the area, to ask for emergency medical care for the infant’s mother. U.S. Army photo   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAn Afghan grandmother holds her newborn grandchild as the infant’s mother (left) prepares to be transported by Afghan National Army soldiers to the hospital in Herat province, Afghanistan, Jan. 10, 2008. U.S. Army photo   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAn Afghan National Army soldier from 207th Kandak gives candy to children in the village of Molla Ata, in the Gozara district of Afghanistan’s Herat province, Jan. 10, 2008. Afghan and coalition soldiers conducting a security patrol through the area stopped in the village to meet with village elders and provide supplies needed to help residents get through the Afghan winter. U.S. Army photo  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAn Afghan National Army subcommander and a soldier from 207th Kandak provide blankets and other supplies to village elders in Molla Ata, in the Gozara district of Afghanistan’s Herat province, Jan. 10, 2008. Afghan and coalition soldiers conducting a security patrol through the area stopped in the village to meet with village elders and provide supplies needed to help residents get through the Afghan winter. U.S. Army photo  
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