Sunday, May 06, 2007

Soldiers assist Iraqis with medical treatment

Spc. D. A. Dickinson
28th Public Affairs Detachment
More than 331 Iraqi citizens received medical assistance Wednesday when Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division ran a clinic at a boy’s school in Lutifyah Public Health Center.
Medical personnel from the Brigade Support Battalion and the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, both with 2/10 out of Fort Drum, N.Y., treated local Iraqi’s for a variety of conditions.
The units conduct such medical operations at least four times a month, said Spc. Cecilia Morales, a medic with Company C, Brigade Support Battalion.
“We’re doing pretty well,” Morales said. “Having an Iraqi interpreter helps – they understand what he’s saying. We’ve helped a lot of people.”
“I think it went well,” said 1st Lt. Seth Holland, a physician’s assistant with 2/15 FA. “We are able to provide a service that they can’t get at the public health clinics, which have a limited amount of meds and are experiencing difficulty staffing. With these medical operations we can provide treatment to more people.”
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the clinic was the kind of patients it drew.
“Usually, you get more females and children than males,” said Staff Sgt. Francis Montes-Crawford, a medic with 2/10. “Since this is a boy’s school, more males were comfortable coming in.”
While Soldiers said they felt good about the results of their day’s work, they also expressed a desire to do more.
“I wish we could have a clinic every other day,” Montes-Crawford said.
Not being able to help all of the patients is the biggest frustration medical personnel face, said Montes-Crawford.
“Sometimes, we don’t have enough meds for the whole population,” she explained.
Morales echoed that sentiment.
“The fact that we don’t have long-term medication for these people is a challenge. Some of them need long-term care,” she said.

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