English | 日本語

Hundreds of villagers receive medical care in Zabul

Kabul, December 1, 2007 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) treated hundreds of citizens during a four-day village medical engagement in the Zabul province, the US-led Coalition said on Saturday.

From November 17-20, ANSF medics and local doctors worked side by side with the Coalition forces to treat men, women and children in Arghandab, Surksang Valley and Deh Afghan areas.

The villagers disregarded Taliban threats and stood in line outside the secured area and waited their turn to see a doctor, the Coalition said in a press statement mailed to Pajhwok Afghan News.

One Afghan commander said these types of operations gave the Afghans an opportunity to see "we too are Afghan citizens and our only goal is to help and protect them."

He added the Taliban just wanted to control everyone and they were willing to hurt and prevent them from getting help while "we are taking measures to take care of them."

After being cleared to enter the area, the men, women and children began to receive care from the medics. Children and adolescents met up with friends while they waited to receive care, according to the Coalition statement.

"They joked around with the ANSF, who surprised the children with small gifts, including school supplies, pencils and informative pamphlets on hygiene and health concerns," the press release said.

During the engagement, an 18-month-old infant was brought in with malnutrition symptoms. The combined force provided her with the medical care needed, saving the infant's life.

"The infant was seriously ill. I'm glad they came over to receive medical care, the infant would have serious complications if they had not received the medication when they did," said a medic.

"We are committed to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in its effort to bring medical and humanitarian assistance to all areas of Afghanistan," said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, Combined Joint Task Force-82 spokesman.