25 Jun 2007

PR# 2007-474

Farah PRT hosts free medical clinic

FARAH, Afghanistan – ISAF soldiers at Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah held a free medical clinic for local Afghans recently.

About 50 local Afghan men, women and children received medical care at the free clinic in just one day.  The PRT hosts the clinic for Afghans every Tuesday and Thursday and usually handles between 40 to 70 patients, according to Lt. Cmdr. Kelley Newman, physician assistant.

“People that have various illnesses will come in and get evaluated. We try to help them by evaluating their condition. The things we can treat and make better, we do," Newman said.

On this day, some patients complained of mild headaches, or minor aches and pains.  A few children had irritated and itchy eyes.  The staff provided them with medication.  Another woman complained of pain in her lower back. After a routine examination, the staff provided her with pain medication and taught her some stretching exercises to relieve the discomfort.

On other days, patients may present more serious conditions needing further medical attention the clinic couldn’t provide. When this happens, the clinic staff directs them to other medical facilities.

One such patient was an injured member of the Afghan National Police, who was suffering from complications from a surgery that took place after he was shot in an operation to stop drug smugglers along the Iran-Afghanistan border.

"If it was not for this clinic, I would not have any—or know of any—other options for medical treatment," said the injured ANP officer. "I am grateful for any help they can give me."

In addition to providing medical care, the clinic also educates Afghans on the basics of medical care.  The goal is to teach them to become self-sufficient and take better care of themselves.

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