Aussies assist Afghan medical centre
29 November 2018
Australian Defence Force personnel are working with their Afghan colleagues to improve medical services at Kabul Garrison Command.
Major Derek Morris, of the Australian Army, began a program that brings together health professionals from the Command and the nearby coalition military base at Hamid Karzai International Airport to promote an exchange of knowledge and skills beneficial to patrol medics and clinicians from each country, and to build lasting relationships.
Major Morris said the program had increased the confidence of the Afghan partners by enabling them to test their knowledge and skills against international standards.
"The program has shown Afghans that their procedures are the same as ours; they are keeping up with contemporary medical standards and practices," he said.
"The feedback I'm getting from the Afghans is they believe they have the same capability as their coalition colleagues but the equipment we use is just more modern."
Kabul Garrison Command is the headquarters responsible for protecting Kabul and its five million residents.
Colonel Rafiulaq Emami, Chief Medical Officer at the Command medical clinic, said he was grateful to Major Morris.
He said his colleague had "paved the way" for greater learning and understanding between Afghans and the coalition.
"I don't think there is anything more important than learning, especially in the medical field. We learn to save our colleagues' lives and you cannot measure how important that is," Colonel Emami said.
Major Morris was deployed on Operation Highroad in Afghanistan as part of the Kabul Garrison Command Advisor Team, a contingent of Australian and Turkish personnel who train, advise and assist Afghan security force personnel at the command.
Operation Highroad is the Australian contribution to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and Australia contributes about 300 Defence personnel to the train, advise and assist mission.