Afghans take lead with local hospital
September 29, 2013
CAMP HERO, Afghanistan -- The partnership between coalition forces and the Afghan National Army took a major step forward Sept. 25, as the Kandahar Regional Military Hospital in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the hospital now being 100 percent Afghan led.
"This is an important day, for the Afghan people and the Kandahar province," said Afghan Brig. Gen. Dr. Sayed Azim Hussaini, the commander of the Kandahar Regional Military Hospital, or KRMH.
Over the past decade, the KRMH has received assistance from a team of coalition forces from Regional Support Command-South, made up of 38 countries that have been in Afghanistan since 2002.
The KRMH primarily provides medical care for injured Afghan National Army soldiers, but also gives medical assistance to civilians, and following with international norms, provides medical care to injured insurgents.
Coalition forces have worked side-by-side with Afghan medical and military personnel to train and provide support for the KRMH.
Australian Brig. Gen. Patrick Kidd, Regional Command-South deputy commanding general for force development, congratulated Hussaini, the KRMH staff, and everyone's efforts and work ethic to get to this point.
"My absolute congratulations to you for what you have achieved" Kidd said. "KRMH is very important. It is a key to the future of the Afghan military and security forces and the entire Kandahar Province."
He also talked about the success that the KRMH has become over the last decade.
"This is the product of teamwork with ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and Afghan partners," Kidd said. "On top of that, the support from the international community drove this forward. (KRMH) is a great example of what needs to be done in Afghanistan."
That teamwork is the on-going partnership between Afghan and coalition forces.
Lt. Col. Christopher G. Jarvis, the Combined Joint Task Force 4 surgeon at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, said the partnership with Afghan National Security Forces and medical personnel has proven to be a great success and will pay dividends in the future for the Afghan military and civilian population.
"The things we have done together have really made this hospital what it is," Jarvis said. "It started as basically wooden barracks and now look at it: furnished rooms and enough beds for patients."
The KRMH features air conditioned rooms, clean beds, and a full-time medical, housekeeping and administrative staff.
He also added that the hospital holds clinics for women to come in to receive medical attention as well, something that had not happened regularly in years past.
Despite the progress the KRMH has made, Jarvis said that there are still issues that need to be resolved.
He noted the ability to get supplies, as well as medical and casualty evacuation procedures, could be difficult in rough terrain areas, especially when KRMH is the only hospital for miles.
Hussaini spoke about possible future challenges and is confident his leadership and team can overcome those obstacles.
"This is a big responsibility; we are ready to stand on our own feet," Hussaini said. "I thank the coalition forces and ISAF commanders for the work you have done here."
Hussaini has been a doctor serving in Afghanistan for 28 years. He learned medicine in Kabul, and before taking command of this facility, he commanded the Herat Regional Medical Hospital in Herat Province.
As the ceremony ended, the KRMH opened its doors once again, ready to help the Afghan National Army soldiers and people of Afghanistan.