Kandahar, Helmand doctors meet to mend collective concerns
October 15, 2012
CAMP HERO, Afghanistan -Afghanistan's war casualties rely on the medical evacuation services and expertise of a broad range of Afghan medical and civilian medical professionals. Doctors representing the full spectrum of medical groups here came together recently to answer one big question about these patients: What more can we do to give them the best care possible?
Doctors from the Afghan National Army, Afghan Air Force and Afghan National Police, as well as their Afghan civilian colleagues from Helmand and Kandahar provinces came together for a two-day medical shura, better known as a conference to the western world, in order to share their experiences and tackle medical issues head on, Oct. 10-11, 2012.
Afghan Army Brig. Gen. Dr. Sayed Azim Hussaini said the discussion surrounding improved ways to help medics smoothly evacuate troops off the battlefield was the most important topic of conversation at the event.
Attendees examined logistical maneuvers and communication involved with ambulance and helicopter retrieval of patients as well as the training medics receive to care for casualties.
Along with extensive discussion surrounding battlefield evacuation, the medical professionals also shared what they had observed and learned about several other topics, including immunizations, orthopedic injuries and surgical wound care.
The doctors in attendance came from hospitals including the Kandahar Regional Military Hospital and smaller troop medical clinics throughout the region. Representatives from the Kandahar Medical School and Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health also participated in the discussion.
The attendees considered the event a success.
"It went very well," Azim Hussaini said. "It was one of the best medical shuras in Afghanistan. In three months, we're planning on having another one."
International Security Assistance Force partners echoed Azim Hussaini's sentiment and said they were proud of the Afghan National Security Force medical community's growing self-sufficiency.
"[The Afghans] developed [the shura] and they executed it," said U.S. Army Lt. David Cole, 3rd Infantry Division and Regional Command (South) division surgeon and mentor to KRMH personnel. "A key thing that did not happen at this shura was any mention of ISAF needing to assist, buy things, or facilitate medical care. Truly, this medical Shura is a shining example of [Afghan National Security Forces] in the lead."