By Army Capt. Vanessa R. Bowman, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentJune 14, 2007
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - During a two-day medical engagement, more than 350 Afghans received preventative medicine supplies, medications and medical treatment from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
After the notice of the planned village medical engagement was announced at a shura the previous day, local residents flocked to receive much needed medical care.
"We do patient teaching," said Army Maj. Stacy Weina, one of the medical providers from Dewitt Army Hospital, at Fort Belvoir, Va. "We don't just hand out medicine, we teach preventative medicine."
On the first day, there were 103 pediatric and 47 adult patients. On the second day, there were 161 pediatric patients and 71 adults. Of the adults treated, 18 of them were women. Sick call for the Afghan National Army was held both days after the civilian patients were seen.
"It is why I volunteered to come to Afghanistan - to take care of the women and children," Weina said.
The medical engagement was held in a six-room former school building where 1-508th Paratroopers and medical personnel cleaned and prepared to host the event. There were six male and seven female medical personnel, and interpreters were on hand to help medical personnel communicate with the patients.
One of the challenges of the event was controlling the flow of patients to make sure they were treated in an orderly and timely manner. To do this, one of the medical providers was stationed outside the clinic to assure adequate flow. To handle the patient volume, the medical providers had to also serve in administrative roles to process the patients.
The staff brought supplies that included lotions, cleansers, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, medications as well as tarps to provide shade.
Afghan National Security Forces and paratroopers worked together to provide security and help keep the attendees organized during the mission.