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Afghan Doctors Graduate from Trauma Course

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Regional Command-East

Local Afghan doctors who participated in a two week training program that focused on the treatment of trauma patients were recognized during a ceremony held at the SSG Heath N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 13.

The doctors participating in the Afghan Trauma Mentor Program worked with coalition forces medical personnel learning how to deal with trauma patients. “The Afghan’s don’t have medical courses here that are geared towards trauma,” said U.S. Army Capt. Mark Ebeling, a U.S. Army nurse and the director of the Afghan Trauma Mentor Program, Task Force Med-East. “We have that capability here, and that’s one of the biggest needs in the country, so we bring them here to teach them.”

During the exercise an avalanche injured more than 100 people in the Salang district of Parwan Province, Afghanistan, Feb. 9. The evacuees of the avalanche were brought to Bagram Airfield where some were treated by the Afghan doctors in the trauma program. After they were treated and given hot meals they were transported to a shelter set-up in the city of Charikar.

“They were in the hospital training when the avalanche occurred,” said Ebeling. “Myself and Dr. Asif Shirzad went to work in the emergency room, while the other doctors worked with the injured Afghan families in another part of the hospital, it calmed those families who were scared, because their own doctors were working on them.”

The Afghan participants in the program received plaques for their training. The plaques were presented by U.S. Air Force Col. Joseph P. Chozinski, TF Med-East commander.
 “My hope in coming here to Afghanistan was to see things grow and develop into a powerful, healthier and more capable country,” said Chozinski. “It is people like you who will take this country to that place, I am proud to be part of what helps you to get there, but I know that it is you that will really make the difference.”

Afghan National Army Major Dr. Abdul Hachim participated in this two week program.

“We are thankful to be here and learn about these trauma cases,” said Hachim. “We are honored to be here with you people, the American forces, (International Security Assistance Forces) and their medical teams, they made it possible for us to be here and learn about these trauma cases.”

A previous graduate of the class, Dr. Asif Shirzad from Kabul, Afghanistan, also returned to help teach the new students.

“We brought back a previous graduate who is building the sustainability of this program, because he can now teach his fellow Afghan doctors,” Ebeling said.

The program will continue teaching Afghan doctors from all over the country about trauma with hopes that they can take what they learned back to their communities and teach it to their colleagues.

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