By Sgt. Timothy Dinneen, Combined Joint Task Force-76 PAOFebruary 9, 2007
QALAT, Afghanistan, Feb. 7, 2007 - A Jordanian medical team of doctors, nurses and medical technicians were welcomed at the Zabul Provincial Hospital Jan. 31 by local citizens, government officials and the commanders of the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain divisions.
The "dream" of Zabul Governor Del Bar Arman to have a state-of-the-art medical facility in his province became a reality as the Jordanian team will provide humanitarian assistance, medical training and manpower to the existing ZPH staff of 120 personnel.
"The development we see today is because of our governor, our American friends and the United Arab Emirates who paid for the construction of this hospital and our brothers from Jordan who came to help us here," said Dr. Faizullah Kakar, Ph.D., deputy minister of policy, planning, and preventative medicine, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health. "I wish other Muslim countries would do as Jordan has done."
Kakar requested the Jordanian doctors to help the Afghan doctors treat trauma, which is a very critical need in the region, as well as the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, adding that training for nurses and mid-wives is also greatly needed.
"These are our guests, and they are here to help our children and women and to save lives," Kakar said. "Offer them the best hospitality so when they go back to Jordan they will remember the best of Afghanistan."
The Jordanians have been working at a hospital in Mazar-E-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan the past four years. They moved to Qalat as part of the U.N. mandated international security force.
"We come here today as Jordanian brothers with an honest wish, that Allah will bless you and bring you peace and security," said Jordanian Brig. Gen. Abdullarh Abdel Qader Matar. "We also hope that we will provide the best medical care for this hospital."
Matar also gave praise to U.S. forces for coordinating the Jordanian move south.
"Today represents the future of Afghanistan, and 38 nations are represented at this most significant ceremony," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, commander, Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan and 10th Mountain Division. "We see a great hand that the United Arab Emirates had in building this facility and we see the wonderful contribution of the Jordanians in Afghanistan. Today is a new beginning as Jordan comes to Zabul to help."
The ZPH was constructed in March 2006 and has treated 1,517 in-patients, 697 surgical patients and 313 deliveries since its opening according to Mohammed Al Kozai, director of ZPH.