HUSAYBAH, Iraq --
HUSAYBAH, Iraq (June 11, 2008) – As troops enter the western edge of the town here, they drive under teal arches that distinguish the town from other paths. Shortly after entering, a stone wall comes into view on the left side of the road. Sections of the wall bear paintings that portray aspects of life in Iraq.
Behind this wall, Iraqis use the limited resources they have to save the lives of men, women and children who will carry on the Iraqi culture depicted by the stone canvas surrounding them.
Three medical officers deployed with the “Warlords” of Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5, visited the Husaybah Hospital June 11 to view its facilities and determine ways to improve the health care provided.
“We went to assess their needs and see how we could help out,” said Lt. j.g. Warren Karr, an emergency nurse with the Shock Trauma Platoon, Combat Logistics Battalion 6, attached to 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines. “Any training or help we can give would be beneficial, and we could definitely provide some valuable services.”
The hospital is one of the larger health care providers located within the Al Qa’im region. Patients come from far and wide to receive medical attention, but the hospital’s resources don’t always accommodate the influx.
“We get supplied every three months,” said Dr. Muhammad Salem, a member of the staff. “We usually have a shortage of supplies before the next delivery.”
“They do the best they can with what they have,” Karr said. “The over abundance of equipment and material we have can be sent to the hospital and local clinics.”
The medical officers plan to deliver excess medical supplies to the hospital and several local organizations, and at the same time, pass on knowledge from their years of experience.
“We’re going to put together supply boxes and deliver them to the hospital and other clinics” Karr said. “I don’t think it would be beneficial though, to give them equipment and no training.”
They will help the hospital prepare for patients with extra supplies and any advice they can give to help the staff, but the sailors still want to do more. They have discussed the possibilities of providing more permanent resources.
“The supplies we give them will run out eventually,” Karr said. “I think that medical reference guides and text books could help them long term.”
Like the stone canvas surrounding the medical center, increasing knowledge and experience could become distinctive features of the hospital.