From the event

17 Sep 2007

PR# 2007-638

ISAF completes major health
facilities in Tarin Kowt

TARIN KOWT, Afghanistan – The Australian Reconstruction Task Force (RTF), part of the Dutch-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Regional Command South, has completed two of its major construction projects this week.

The redevelopment of the Tarin Kowt Hospital and construction of the Yaklengah Comprehensive Health Clinic are landmark projects in the international community’s quest to deliver improved health care for the people of southern Afghanistan.

The two projects were opened and handed over to the local government by Commanding Officer of the RTF, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Jarvie, at a ceremony at the hospital on Sunday 16 September.

“The International Security Assistance Force is determined to assist your government to steadily improve your lives” Lieutenant Colonel Jarvie said to the assembled crowd gathered for the hospital opening.

“We see high quality health and education facilities as the foundation of a prosperous community and this is why we are working so hard to deliver improved health infrastructure in and around Tarin Kowt” he added.

The US$700,000 Tarin Kowt Hospital project began in late 2006 and was completed on schedule this week by the RTF and local contractors.

Project manager, Captain Dan Keep from the Australian Army’s 19th Chief Engineer Works was on hand to assist with the hospital opening and said the transformation of the site has been impressive.

“Prior to commencing the works, the hospital was in a poor state of repair. It was ill-equipped and poorly staffed, struggling to perform the role of the major health facility in the Province” said Captain Keep.

In a little under one year, the hospital has become one of the more developed medical centres in Southern Afghanistan.

The main building has had its interior completely refurbished to dramatically improve hygiene standards. Fundamental services that previously did not exist, such as a clean water supply and reliable electricity, have been installed.

A new kitchen building has been constructed and fitted with modern appliances, replacing a single wood fire that once serviced the entire facility.

An Out-Patients Department is the largest of the new structures built at the hospital, providing an additional Comprehensive Health Clinic facility for the region and freeing up room in the main building for additional in-patients.  It comprises 16 rooms incorporating male and female wards, consultation and storage rooms and x-ray facilities.

Finally, an infectious diseases ward was built to improve treatment of contagious diseases such as cholera. The transmission of cholera has had a debilitating effect on the health of the local population in the past, but can now be treated safely in this purpose built facility.

The second project to be completed this week was the Yaklengah Comprehensive Health Clinic, located about ten kilometers South West of Tarin Kowt. The works conducted at this facility have included an extension and renovation to the main clinic building, construction of staff accommodation, expansion to the compound wall and an upgrade to the water supply.

With a budget of over US$300,000 the RTF has been able to significantly enhance the level of health care services available to the Yaklengah region.

These two projects have been the RTF’s most significant undertaking to date. The works were all planned, funded and managed by Australian Army engineers and built mostly by local contractors. This process ensures a high degree of local ownership of the projects, employment and vital income for their developing economy. RTF tradesmen have also contributed to both projects when local expertise was not available.

The Australian RTF will continue to develop the health, education and security infrastructure in Oruzgan Province through its unique ‘protected construction’ capability. Apart from a bridge across one of the main rivers that will connect outlying regions with the Tarin Kowt hospital, RTF current and future projects will see an emphasis on education, with large scale works planned at Tarin Kowt Schools as well as a regional health training institution.

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/