An Afghan doctor looks on as a casualty from
the frontlines arrives in Kabul. He is headed for Dawood National Military
Hospital, the largest such facility in the country, run entirely by the Afghan Ministry
of Defence. “This soldier has been brought from Ghazni
Province. He has IED trauma and also a foreign body in the brain.”
The hospital was mired in scandal a few years ago, when it was revealed that systematic
patient neglect and corruption was rife. Since these issues were brought to light however,
changes have taken place and staff insist the facility is now up to standard.
“Well the improvements started with the policy from the Surgeon General to fight the corruption.
He was able to reduce the corruption by 80 per cent. He also increased the discipline
of his physician and all the medical professionals. That led to improvements in all aspects of
healthcare system, including good nutrition and good calories to the patients, clean sheets,
clean bed, clean floor.” “It has been almost two years since we started
specialised healthcare programmes. We have had lots of improvements, as you know. Training
is not a matter of one, two, three months or a year, it is an ongoing process. It takes
time and that’s why we need support. We need to work as a team and keep the training ongoing.”
This facility will be a bastion for the Afghan Army in this election year. General Wardak
also believes the hospital has a wider role to play.
“If we provide better healthcare services to the Afghan army it will have great results.
If we can send a soldier who has been injured back to his unit, healed and healthy, it also
helps us increase the soldier’s morale. This increase in morale will help them fight
the remaining terrorists in Afghanistan. With a benefit for Afghanistan and the entire world.