From the event

28 Mar. 2008

PR# 2008-121

ISAF doctor, medics fight disease in Zabul

KABUL, Afghanistan – ISAF’s Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) members treated more than 120 Afghans during a village medical outreach Mar. 22, in Jarullah Village, Zabul Province.

The team treated local men, women and children for intestinal parasites.

Intestinal parasites need to be treated twice within about two weeks in case the people re-infect themselves after the first treatment, said Captain James Arnold, an ISAF physician. This helps to wipe out the parasites for the long term.

"We also handed out other things like over-the-counter medications or medications that these people can’t receive because they’re too far away from the hospital," said Staff Sgt. Nestor Albalos Jr., Zabul PRT aerospace medical services craftsman. "Missions like this are important because the people don’t have treatment here like we do in the states, so we provide it for them.

"I feel good knowing that I’m out there to make a difference for the locals here," he said. "I try to give them a better life and decrease disease. I’m just here doing what I need to do and hopefully playing a big role."

While the mission was primarily to administer intestinal parasite medication, the ISAF PRT’s doctor came across an unusual injury.

"There was a gentleman who worked for the Afghan National Police who had a bullet go through the roof of his mouth about a year ago," said Capt. Arnold. "He has a hole that travels from the roof of his mouth out his right eyeball.

"He had a serious eye infection when I saw him, so I treated that," said Arnold. "We’re going to try to arrange for him to go to a hospital in Kabul or Kandahar to get reconstructive surgery."

The PRT’s mission is to conduct civil-military operations in Zabul Province, extending the reach and legitimacy of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by promoting good governance and justice, enabling an effective Afghan security force, and facilitating reconstruction, development and economic growth by developing projects on the leading edge of the Afghan National Development Strategy.

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/