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Afghan Women Get Better Medical Care Thanks to Coalition Investment

By Navy Lt. j.g. Egdanis Torres Sierra, Resolute Support Headquarters

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KABUL, Afghanistan, May 23, 2017 — Afghan mothers bringing new lives to their nation have access to better medical care, thanks to coalition investment at the Kabul Women’s Hospital here.

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, speaks to nurses, medical staff and hospital managers at the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. Nicholson emphasized the importance of women in peace building and in strengthening the future of Afghanistan. Nicholson toured the hospital to oversee improvements that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, speaks to nurses, medical staff and hospital managers at the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. Nicholson emphasized the importance of women in peace building and in strengthening the future of Afghanistan. Nicholson toured the hospital to oversee improvements that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, speaks to nurses, medical staff and hospital managers at the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. Nicholson emphasized the importance of women in peace building and in strengthening the future of Afghanistan. Nicholson toured the hospital to oversee improvements that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo Medical Staff
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, speaks to nurses, medical staff and hospital managers at the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. Nicholson emphasized the importance of women in peace building and in strengthening the future of Afghanistan. Nicholson toured the hospital to oversee improvements that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo

The medical facility, located in a city of 4 million people, delivers around 60 babies a day.

“We have received 210 beds and cabinets, some of them made here in Afghanistan. We also have received new medical equipment such as operating tables, X-ray and ultrasound machines. This help translates into better medical service for our females and better diagnosis capabilities for proper care for childbirth,” said Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director.

Commander’s Inspection

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support and U.S. Forces -- Afghanistan commander, toured the medical facility to oversee the improvement plan that began in December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, , and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Standing in one of the medical rooms, Nicholson spoke to nurses, medical staff and hospital managers expressing the importance of women in peace building and in strengthening the future of Afghanistan.

“Women and the next generation are so important in peace building. You all demonstrate the future of reconciliation and security. We spend a lot of time, as soldiers, fighting for security -- we're touched, we're heartened to see you use the time and space we're trying to provide to make a better future,” Nicholson said. “It is good to see that our work and sacrifice goes into helping the next generation of Afghans.”

Civil Affairs Projects

Resolute Support began executing civil affairs projects at the hospital including the delivery of new medical equipment and infrastructure improvements on electrical systems, plumbing and painting.

The projects are part of a whole-of-government approach supported by the Commander's Emergency Response Program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, tours the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. The general inspected improvements at the hospital that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, right, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, tours the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. The general inspected improvements at the hospital that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, right, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, tours the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. The general inspected improvements at the hospital that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, right, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo Resolute Support
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, tours the Kabul Women’s Hospital in Afghanistan, May 18, 2017. The general inspected improvements at the hospital that began last December. He was accompanied by Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Sidqa Abudllah Adeeb-Rabia Balkhi, hospital director and Ambassador Hugo Llorens, right, the special chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo

“After our visit in December, we mobilized a team of engineers to assess areas that we could provide help. We have delivered on our promise in providing medical equipment. Now, our focus is on continuing the infrastructure plan that will provide a healthier and safer hospital for these women and their children,” explained Army Col. Scott G. Heyler, director, Civil Military Operations.

At the end of the visit, Nicholson indicated that security is not just military force; security also includes the rebuilding of a new Afghanistan.

“What you do here is extraordinarily important; you are the definition of true security, all of your success adds up to provide a better future,” the general said.

NATO and Resolute Support remain committed to work with the government of Afghanistan in protecting Afghans and enabling humanitarian assistance, and to the provision of long-term security and stability, Nicholson said.