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PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Paktika Gov. Moheebullah Samim greets the people of Waza Khwa District prior to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new women’s health center Nov. 20. The new clinic is a sanitary place for women and children to receive treatment. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Emily Chilson, Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new women’s health center in Waza Khwa District was held here Nov. 20.



Paktika Gov. Moheebullah Samim, along with several of his line directors and members of Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team, attended the ceremony.

“Even though it’s a small project, it’s an important one” Samim said as he addressed the crowd gathered outside the new clinic. “The women in Waza Khwa will be able to get treatment.”

The governor also encouraged the attendees to work hand-in-hand with the government of Paktika.

“Step-by-step, we’ll change the face of Paktika,” he said.

Upon completing his speech, Samim cut the ribbon and toured the new clinic. One large hallway led to four rooms.

“The first room is for emergencies and the second room is for childbirth,” said Hala Hushawa, Paktika’s director of women’s affairs. “They need to spare one other room for post-delivery.”

After two months of construction, the new women’s health center is ready for use. The original women’s health center, managed by a midwife and her assistant, is in disrepair. The floors are cracked and what little equipment they have is unsanitary.

“All the problems related to women and their health in Waza Khwa can be solved with this new clinic,” Hushawa said.

According to U.S. Army Maj. Pranav Patel, 506th Infantry Battalion surgeon from Houston, he and his medics conduct what he described as a weekly “medical counterinsurgency” in the district.

“Our role in medical COIN is to provide mentorship,” Patel explained. “Hygiene in this area is non-existent.”

Patel listed a number of healthcare issues in Waza Khwa they are trying to address, including newborn illnesses, malnutrition and personal hygiene.

“We do the best we can with what we have,” Patel said. “We’re trying to teach the people here to take care of themselves. Ultimately, the new clinic will provide a platform for change.”PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Paktika Gov. Moheebullah Samim cuts the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the new women’s health center in Waza Khwa District Nov. 20. Prior to cutting the ribbon, the governor addressed the crowd, encouraging them to work hand-in-hand with the Afghan government. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Emily Chilson, Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A midwife (right) and her assistant, show servicemembers around the original women’s health center in Waza Khwa District Nov. 20. While the floors and walls are cracking in that clinic, the new building is a sanitary and secure structure where women and children of Waza Khwa can receive treatment. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Emily Chilson, Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 November 2010 23:04
 

    

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