By By Spc. Michael J. MacLeod 1/82 AAB, USD-CFebruary 14, 2010
AL UWESAT, Iraq - Medical doctors with 1st Iraqi Division set up a temporary clinic Feb. 11 in Al Uwesat, Iraq, and treated 312 villagers for a variety of common maladies in a partnered operation with U.S. Army medics.
The two Iraqi physicians, with support from the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist), brigade surgeon and medics, treated 144 males and 168 females during the clinic's five hours of operation at a primary school in an east-Anbar village to provide medical service and win the goodwill of locals.
Capt. Ahmed Zyara, who treated patients for conditions that included ulcers, hernias, tonsillitis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and the aches and pains of old age, said not only did the operation provide a much-needed service for the villages, it also provided excellent training for him and the other medical professionals.
"The people get to see that the Iraqi army is here to help them," said Ahmed, a doctor of six years. "Plus, I get to see cases that are not the usual cases I see in the army.
"We hope this will encourage the people to cooperate with the Iraqi army because the Iraqi army is the only savior from the terrorists," said Ahmed. "Hopefully, the charity will reverse the brainwashing [the terrorists] do on the people, and this will help get them back on the right path."
For five hours, the four examination rooms and Iraqi-run pharmacy were constantly busy, he said.
Given the opportunity for free, local medical care, many mothers came in with their entire broods, seeking to eliminate common colds, toothaches, sore throats and other common childhood ills, according to Sgt. Bethany Smith, a medic with Company C, 307th Brigade Support Battalion, 1/82 AAB.
Amel Hussyin, a mother of five who lives near the school where the clinic was operated, said there was only one medical clinic nearby and no doctor.
For the 7,000 residents of Al Uwesat and the surrounding area, there should ideally be three clinics, each with a resident physician, according to Ahmed.
"I have to drive two hours to see a doctor," said Amel.
Three of Amel's children exhibited cold symptoms, and a fourth was having bed-wetting issues, she said.
"We thank the Iraqi army doctors for seeing us here today," said Amel.
Since 2007, the Iraqi army has set up 48 such medical clinics and has seen 14,600 patients in and around the Habaniya area while working with the Americans as a team, according to the Iraqi doctors.