Approximately 30 people gathered for the grand opening of the Tovo Medical Clinic Feb. 12 in the Kani Karweshkan foothills, located in Halabja, Iraq.
The clinic opened in honor of Brig. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, in recognition of his past service in Iraq
The facility will be equipped with more than $25,000 of medical equipment and will help significantly improve the regionâ€™s medical care and provide essential services throughout the Kurdish autonomous region, said a Coalition forces advisor.
The clinic provides nearly 500 residents from six surrounding villageâ€™s access to a medical facility and the medical services of a staff of three full-time doctors. The location of the clinic also increases the chances of survivability by providing people in a community, where vehicular transportation is scarce, access because of the clinicâ€™s central location. Access results in more immediate care, so patients can be stabilized before they are moved to another medical facility, if more specialized care is necessary.
â€œMost of the trauma cases we see are due to snake and scorpion bites to farmers working the fields,â€ said the regional tribal leader. â€œThese patients can receive care immediately, lowering their chances of death.â€
Potential long-term projects include paving the clinic route to make it more accessible, drilling wells to provide water to the clinic, establishing nearby electrical lines for communication, and expanding clinic services.
â€œThe opening of this clinic is just one of several planned to promote local participation and demonstrate the governmentâ€™s commitment to maintaining security while encouraging social and capital development, said Col. Bill Buckner, spokesman for the Multi-National Corps â€“ Iraq. â€œProjects like this one create short-term benefits and long-term potential consistent with the intended goals of the Iraqi and CF partnership. Short-term, the clinic makes medical care for potentially fatal illnesses and injuries more accessible.â€
A KRG representative reiterated that commitment, saying, â€œGive me a list of everything the staff needs, whether it is equipment, medications or supplies, and I will take care of it,â€ he told the head tribal leader. â€œCoalition forces helped build the clinic, but it is our job to sustain it.â€