By Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens
Special to American Forces Press Service
Sept. 8, 2008 - More than 80 people attended the opening of the Chinaki Uyla Medical Clinic in the Sayed Khail district of Afghanistan's Parwan province Sept. 6. Parwan Gov. Abdul Jabbar Taqwa and Army Lt. Col. William D. Andersen, Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team commander, were on hand for the ceremony.
From start to finish, the facility took a little more than six months to plan and complete. The Bagram PRT funded the $106,000 project, a medical facility for a community that was receiving fragmented care by providers traveling house to house. The community quickly agreed on a site location.
"The Chinaki Uyla Clinic will service an estimated 29,000 people over the next five years," said Army Capt. Marshall Fiscus, a physician assistant for the Bagram PRT.
A farmer who recognized the need for the clinic donated land from his own property. This provided a location for the eight-room facility, which includes a bathroom, two generators and a well, with a surrounding boundary wall.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a contracted construction company honored the land donor with bags of rice, tea and sugar.
"The PRT is very proud to be part of this project and effort," Andersen said.
Several Afghans living in the area contributed by working together to complete tasks not covered in the contracting proposal.
Although the clinic offers limited bed space, staffing and supplies, villagers now have a place to go in time of medical emergency. The new medical facility will provide improved infant and maternal care by a professional midwife, birthing table and medical instruments to assist with childbirth, officials said.
During the ceremony, a local elder thanked the PRT and contractor for their assistance, but also voiced concerns about for the delivery of medicines, reconstruction of the local road and construction of a bridge that would connect the provinces of Parwan and Kapisa.
"We need time to build all the things we need in Afghanistan," Taqwa said as he addressed the concerns of people living in the area. "There are 57 health clinics in this province, and only 21 have buildings."
The remainder of the health clinics are based out of mud huts. The governor praised the community for having good security, which has allowed for more development.
(Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens serves in the Task Force Warrior Public Affairs Office.)