9 Jan 2008

PR# 2008-012

Medical capacity grows in Zabul Province

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Qalat Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT)   recently taught a class on how to treat injured people to local civilians.

During the class’ graduation ceremony, five young Afghan men from Zabul Province received certificates of completion for a three-month basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training course. The course was facilitated by the Qalat PRT and is similar to a basic first-aid class or the military’s self-aid and buddy care training.

“We teach the students how to stop blood flow in an emergency situation and to provide care that will keep a patient alive long enough until more advanced medical experts arrive or until transportation—either by vehicle or aircraft—is available,” said Mobariz Shaheen, EMT course instructor.

Many students with this training have also been able to find medical jobs.

“This was the first class we’ve held with the current PRT and the next class will start in two weeks,” Mr. Shaheen said. “We’ve held the class in previous years and some of the students continue their training with a nursing class. Eight of the 12 students from the last nursing class have found jobs at the Zabul Provincial Hospital.”

The EMT course is an important first step in helping to build capacity in a province that suffers from an 85 percent illiteracy rate and a 40 percent unemployment rate. The EMT graduates have taken the first step toward facilitating a reverse in these statistics and are an example of hope for the future of Afghanistan.

At the end of the ceremony, which included the presentation of an individual basic EMT kit for each graduate, Master Sgt. Keith Renken, EMT course facilitator, told graduates he hoped their training will help them to help others.

“We are all thankful to the PRT for all you have done for us. Tashakor (thank you),” said Basir Ahmad, EMT graduate.

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/