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Egyptian hospital provides medical care for locals

Egyptian army Capt. Amr Nagib, a pediatrician with the El Salam Egyptian Field Hospital, examines a young Afghan child Feb 8. The hospital has provided medical aid for local Afghans since 2003. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terrance D. Rhodes)

By Staff Sgt. Terrance D. Rhodes

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — Someone once said Egypt was a place flowing with milk and honey, but for the local Afghan people, the El Salam Egyptian Field Hospital gives so much more.

The El Salam Egyptian Field Hospital is a part of the coalition forces that helps and provide medical care for the people of Afghanistan.

The hospital, operating out of the wooden B-huts that dot the entire base, offers surgery and outpatient care, with specialists in many disciplines, including dentistry, ophthalmology, gynecology and pediatrics.

Since December, the hospital has seen over 5,000 patients including Afghans and American civilians.

“We treat and see civilians that work on Bagram and Afghans.” said Col. Reda AL. Shanawany, the commander of El Salam Egyptian Field Hospital. “If there is something we cannot find a solution on, we will refer all of our patients to Craig Joint Theater Hospital.”

The hospital offers many different kinds of treatment, but more often, Afghans are treated for Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B.

“The two most common cases that we see is [tuberculosis] and [hepatitis B],” said Capt. Ahmed Moheb, the chief medical doctor of the El Salam Egyptian Field Hospital. “People come from a long distance, so I think they need us here to make sure that their getting cured.”

Afghans have come from all over the country to this hospital, the Egyptians said, but most are from the area.

Some Afghans travel from far distances to receive medical treatment, and some come with no shoes and with little to eat, but once they get to the hospital, all of those needs are meet.

The staff not only treats all of its patients, it feeds them as well.

“Before the Afghan people leave, we always give them food for their trip back home,” said Shanawany.

Regardless of how far they may have to travel, Afghans know this hospital will treat them and make sure their needs are take care of.

“I spend over an hour of walking to get here, so it’s refreshing to know that all my needs will get taken care of,” said Mohamand Khanagha, a patient at the Egyptian Field Hospital.

The Egyptians enjoy taking care of their patients, and they want to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

“We want to teach the Afghans how to support themselves to live successfully without us,” said Moheb. “In the future, I would like for all the Afghan people to be safe and their medical needs meet.”