U.S. mentors help open Afghan army hospital
A modern hospital with some state-of-the-art equipment has opened in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for Afghan soldiers and national police and their families, military officials say.
The $5.6 million, 50-bed main part of Kandahar Afghan National Army Regional Hospital was set up by a medical mentoring team of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Dec. 15, according to a news release issued Wednesday by Combined Joint Task Force-82.
The main hospital includes two isolation rooms, a trauma room, two operating rooms and an intensive-care ward with room for up to six patients.
It also is equipped with digital X-ray and ultrasound machines purchased by the U.S. Some items, such as wheelchairs, were donated by a nonprofit organization based in Canada, officials say. A water processing plant at the hospital cleans and sterilizes water and is being used as a model for future water plants across the country, officials say.
The hospital will serve the Afghan National Army’s 205th Corps, including four combat brigades, associated garrison clinics and more than 27,000 ANA soldiers, Afghan National Police and their families.
An additional 50 patients will be accommodated when the hospital undergoes a $2.6 million expansion, according to Air Force Col. Mike Skidmore, the team’s senior mentor officer and administrator.
The team came to Kandahar intent on mentoring their counterparts at the hospital. But they found an empty facility that was about a year and a half behind schedule, officials say. So the team worked to equip the hospital and open it. They now are starting to mentor the staff.
The team is made up of 18 airmen, including three doctors, three nurses, three administrators, a radiologist, pharmacist, medic and logistician, and lab, pharmacy, radiology and biomedical equipment technicians.
This is “arguably the best ANA hospital in the entire country,” but the most impressive part is the staff, according to Skidmore.
“They are incredibly excited and enthusiastic to learn new clinical and managerial techniques in health care,” Skidmore said.