16 Jun. 2008

Afghan and ISAF doctors share experience

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan doctors joined PRT medical staff to discuss difficult cases and contribute their knowledge and expertise at Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah on 14 June. These sessions to be held on a monthly basis are called “ground rounds”.

Lieutenant Commander Bill Swart, a doctor and medical director at PRT Farah, instituted the monthly grand rounds to gain a better understanding of Afghan medical culture and proceedings.

“It’s not only us teaching them, but also them teaching us so we understand more about how they operate in their areas, with their patients, with their tools,” he says.

Five doctors, including a paediatrician and cardiologist from Farah Hospital attended the first grand rounds, and eagerly shared their knowledge with the group.

“Seventy percent of the patients we see on a daily basis exhibit these same symptoms,” said Dr. Gul Mohammad Usman, after reviewing the case of a 17-year-old female with multiple symptoms that made a diagnosis difficult.

In return, doctors from the PRT often join staff at Farah Hospital during patient rounds. “We really want to know what is going on at that hospital – what their resources and tools are so that we can help them. And the only way to do that is to interact with them.

That’s how I developed my medical vision, by working with the Afghan locals,” said Lt. Cmdr. Swart.

Recently refurbished and donated generators from aid organizations will provide Farah Hospital with 24 hour electricity and pave the way for further upgrades, such as the creation of a blood bank.

Contact Information ISAF Public Information Office
Tel: +93 (0)79 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/