13 Nov 2007

PR# 2007-709

New medical facility opens in Ghazni Province

KABUL, Afghanistan – ISAF Ghazni PRT servicemembers and local government officials attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Ghazni Provincial Hospital emergency facility, recently.

“The emergency room facility took about three months to build,” said Navy Lt. Jeff Ammon, Ghazni PRT project payment officer and engineer. “The project, which costs about $35,000, was a very cost effective building that has quality workmanship.”

The opening ceremony also commemorated the donation provided by the Ghazni PRT of more than 84 types of critical equipment and supplies, which is worth more than $150,000.

Some of the critical equipment donated for the new emergency facility included two ambulances, pharmaceuticals, EKG equipment and emergency room equipment for both adults and infants.

Navy Lt. Keith Hoekman, Ghazni PRT medical officer, works closely with Dr. Ziagul Isfandi, the Ghazni Provincial Hospital and public health director, to assess and improve health care in the Ghazni Province.

According to Hoekman, the project not only expanded emergency care, it increased the capacity of the hospital to provide full-spectrum health care to its patients, especially care associated with pregnancy and birth.

“The purchase of the supplies and equipment, especially the four baby warmers and four baby incubators, will definitely improve the chance of survival for patients in the future,” Hoekman said. “There is a high incidence of multiple births in this area. Having the capability to keep the babies warm after birth is very important.”

Included with the medical supplies were multi-media and office equipment, which included laptops, printers and digital cameras.

“We provided the electronic equipment to start an educational center as part of the new facility. With internet access, the hospital staff will be able to access continuing-medical education credits online,” Hoekman said.

The web cameras give Afghan medical personnel the ability to do distance learning through programs like those provided by Yale University.

“This essentially allows them to leap from third-world medicine to modern medicine,” he said.

PRT medics also ensure that local doctors and health-care providers are educated on proper use of equipment through weekly medical-education lectures.

“A problem in the past is that equipment gets donated and no education follows so the equipment is never used,” said Hoekman.

These classes ensure the equipment is used to its full potential.

The Ghazni Province health ministry, NGO and PRT cooperative efforts to open the new emergency facility provides permanent health care needed in the region.

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/