U.S., French, Afghan Forces Team Up to Aid Afghan Villages
By Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens
Special to American Forces Press Service
KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan, April 14, 2009 U.S. forces participated with French and Afghan forces recently in three days of humanitarian missions to bring medical treatment and necessary supplies to residents of isolated villages here.
Task Force Warrior brigade surgeon Army Capt. (Dr.) William Barker injects anesthetics before stitching the ear of a patient during a two-day medical outreach at the Alasay District Center in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, April 5, 2009. U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. John Zincone
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The Alasay District Clinic in Kapisa treated more than 670 patients April 5-6 with the assistance of multinational doctors, surgeons and medical teams.
The two-day medical outreach brought together Task Force Warrior, along with the Kapisa and Parwan provincial reconstruction teams, and Afghan and French soldiers to provide medical care to the isolated population.
More than 120 Afghan women were seen at a separate facility in the village by female health care workers from the French team. Illnesses ranged from colds and pneumonia to lacerations, hypertension and malnourishment.
"Afghans presented [us] with various medical problems, such as gastritis, asthma, eczema and other types of skin disorders, musculoskeletal pain, and dental problems," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Donray David, who serves with the Task Force Warrior surgeon group.
One local elder, who is about 70 years old, arrived with a cancerous tumor the size of a grapefruit. Army Capt. (Dr.) William Barker, command surgeon with the task force, arranged for the man to be seen at the Egyptian hospital at Bagram Airfield, and coalition forces paid for his cab fare to get there, David said.
Air Force 1st Lt. Jon Farley, a PRT medical officer, said he was so impressed with the performance of Afghan doctor Mohammed Samir that he recommended Samir be admitted to a physician mentorship training program to expand his capabilities and enhance duty performance within the Afghan army.
"He was quite competent and capable, and expressed interest in attending training opportunities at Craig Joint Theater Hospital on [Bagram Airfield]," Farley said.
On April 4, Task Force Warrior and French forces supported the Afghan National Army during a mission to supply food, blankets and school supplies to Alasay district’s Sultan Khiel village. School supplies were distributed to 250 boys and food and blankets to the adults.
"Like most occasions when we show up, the people and children immediately started coming out of the woodwork to our location," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Todd Davis, Kapisa and Parwan PRT engineer.
Flour, beans, rice, and blankets were given to families who lined up during the event. NATO International Security Assistance Force backpacks, chalk boards and other school supplies were distributed to the children.
"Our recent joint operations in support of the ANA to clear and hold the Alasay District Center are having positive results for the people of Alasay," said Army Col. Stephen Jeselink, Task Force Warrior deputy commander, referring to improvements in security and connecting the people of Alasay to their government and resources.
(Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens serves with the Task Force Warrior public affairs office.)