Thursday, July 10, 2008

Medics vaccinate Afghan villagers in Parwan

by Pvt. Tamara Gabbard
382nd Public Affairs Detachment

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (June 30, 2008) – An Airman and Sailor from Combined Joint Task Force-101, teamed up with Afghan doctors and other Coalition medics, June 26, and hosted a village medical outreach in the Nilay Village of the Kohe Safi District, Parawan province, Afghanistan. The VMO was held to help foster relationships between Coalition forces, local governments and local doctors – and aimed at improving the health of Afghans living in the province.

Navy Cmdr. Beth Myhre checks a girl's burn scars during a medical outreach in Nilay Village in the Kohe Sofe District, Parwan province, Afghanistan, June 26.When VMOs are held, the command tries to include female providers, interpreters and veterinarians. With this mission, they were able to bring two female providers with two interpreters and one veterinarian, said Air force Capt. Marshall Fiscus, Parwan province’s chief medical officer. “When you bring in this type of assistance, it really shows that you respect their culture,” said Navy Cmdr. Betsy Myhre, the officer in charge of the cooperative medical assistance team. “Not only is it better for the trust to allow females to see female doctors, but [bringing in the vets] shows that we care about their livelihood, also.”

Animals are very important to Afghan people and their livelihood, she explained. The Vets set up outside and inspected animals the villagers brought to them. They de-wormed and vaccinated them and gave advice to the herd owners. “We want to come in with a village concept,” said Fiscus. “We really don’t want to segregate, and that is why we bring in all the different providers.” Myhre agreed. “The key thing on these missions is that the people involved truly understand the culture,” she said. “We bring in people, such as the interpreters from this country, to help [the villagers] understand that we mean no harm.”

Navy Cmdr. Beth Myhre checks a girl's burn scars during a medical outreach in Nilay Village in the Kohe Sofe District, Parwan province, Afghanistan, June 26.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

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