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Rawah doctors, Coalition forces provide medical aid

15 Aug 2008 | Lance Cpl. Paul Torres

When help is given to those who truly need it, the reward is found in the service.

Rawah is rapidly growing back into the city it was before the war. Due to the city’s size and the lack of medical resources, special attention is often necessary.

For this reason, Coalition forces teamed up with Rawah medical doctors to bring supplies to the people Aug. 9.

“Today we are trying to help the people with the critical diseases that need help to define their disease and provide any kind of help we can to them,” said Omar Samir, who is the residential doctor for Rawah. “This is very important because Rawah is so far from the central government and even the central government doesn’t have the equipment needed for some of the specific treatments. Today we can help identify what type of special treatment the people need and try to help them.”

Patients gathered at the Rawah youth center to wait their turn to be examined by the doctors.

Coalition forces helped secure the area by searching all of the civilians entering the compound and by keeping the crowd in as much order as possible. 

“Our role here was to facilitate the medical engagement by providing the supplies and the security for the area,” said 1st Lt. Daniel M. Thomas, 24, from Santa Barbara, Calif., who is the team leader for Detachment 1, Civil Affairs Team 5, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment.

Around 70 people showed up to have their ailments looked at. Injuries ranging from malnutrition to major terminal illnesses were assessed and treated with the resources at hand.

“It went well, the people were able to come and get some basic medication, and they have been given the chance to go get some water and some basic hygiene equipment,” said Thomas.

Even if a patient was not able to be treated on the spot, the engagement gave the local doctors and city officials a good idea of what will be needed for this area in the future.

“The plan is we are going to try to help the people that are not able to get medicine and the critically sick patients who cannot receive the treatment,” said Hamed Khalid Abrahim, mayor of Rawah. “It has been very successful; we are trying to keep record of the people who are critically ill and the ones who are not so serious.”

“In the future we plan to have a bigger medical team and specialty doctors who will be able to further help.”