n true holiday spirit, Iraqi doctors offered free medical care to residents in the Zafaraniyah area of eastern Baghdad as Iraqi Army and Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers provided security, Dec 20. Iraqi doctors and an Iraqi nurse tended to area residents seeking health care as Coalition Forces medical personnel, who did not directly get involved with treatments, observed and offered medical advice and support to the staff when requested.
"The Iraqi people need to learn to trust that their doctors are trained well enough to provide the proper care they deserve," said Capt. Sean O'Brien, effects coordinator for 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, MND-B. Within minutes of the team's arrival, Zafaraniyah citizens began lining up to receive much-needed medical care. Spc. Thomas Green, an infantryman with Company A, 5th Bn., 25th FA Regt., provided security for citizens seeking heath care as they lined up in front of the clinic.
"There seems to be around 50 or so adults and a whole lot of kids," expressed Green, an Albuquerque, N.M. native.
Iraqi Army soldiers from 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st IA Division, along with Soldiers from 340th Military Police Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82 Airborne Division, and 4th BCT 10th Mtn. Div. Soldiers searched and secured areas inside and outside the clinic.
"This is a combined effort to ensure the security of both the medical personnel and the citizens participating," explained Sgt Donna Quinn, 340th MP Co. team leader from Queens, N.Y. "My team's job is to search females and their children" before they enter the screening area. "Even though not everyone received treatment, the day is a successful one," commented O'Brien, a Sanborne, Iowa, native, who explained that doctors had to leave before all prospective patients were treated. "Another positive note is that the unit replacing 5th Bn. 25th FA Regt. Had an opportunity to "get a feel for the area and the people they will be working with over the next year," he said.
The Iraqi medical staff mostly treated mothers with children. By the end of the free clinic, Iraqi medical staff treated more than 70 women and children and a handful of men.