Staff Sgt. April Deluna (right) and Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Rose demonstrate proper arm-bracing techniques at the provincial women’s development center, Nov. 1, 2011, in Afghanistan. The medics taught basic first-aid skills to 13 women from the province. Deluna is a Provincial Reconstruction Team Paktya medic and Rose is a Nebraska Agriculture Development Team member. (U.S. Army photo/Maj. Katherine Williams)
Khalema Khazan takes notes during first-aid training at the women’s development center Nov. 1, 2011, in the Paktya Province, Afghanistan. The training included lessons on proper hygiene and treatment of burns, lacerations and abrasions. Khazan is the Paktya Director of Women’s Affairs. (U.S. Army photo/Maj. Katherine Williams)
by 1st Lt Cammie Quinn
Provincial Reconstruction Team Paktya
11/3/2011 - PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Thirteen Afghan women received life-saving first aid training at a provincial women's development center shura (meeting) held in Paktya province, Nov. 1.
U.S. service members assigned to the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team and the Nebraska Agribusiness Development Team, both located on Forward Operating Base Goode, taught the women how to treat burns, lacerations and abrasions.
Tech Sgt. Rebecca Rose, with the ADT from Coleridge, Neb., and Staff Sgt. April DeLuna, with the PRT from San Antonio, both medics, conducted an interactive training program for the women.
During the one-hour course, the medics emphasized proper hygiene techniques such as hand washing and the use of gloves while treating wounds.
"The women learned the 'cold, clean' method," DeLuna said. "They'd never heard to clean with cold, clean water and were using alternative methods to treat wounds."
The women shared stories about their previous home-medical treatments during the shura.
"I've used cold potatoes on my children's wounds to stop the burning," one student said. "Potatoes and egg yolk both help to prevent the burn from spreading."
Along with training, the group also received first-aid medical kits, stocked with bandages, a gauze compress, gloves, antibiotic ointment and other supplies.
The shura was coordinated through Khalema Khazan, the Paktya Director of Women's Affairs and the Team Paktya Women's Advocacy Group.
The DOWA is an Afghan ministry-appointed position, with the authority and obligation to raise awareness of concerns and advocate for Afghan women.
"I want a common understanding for every woman to know their rights and freedoms under Islam," Khazan said. "We have shuras in the women's development center for Paktya women to teach them important skills."
In the past, Khazan has organized town meetings, or 'shuras,' health workshops and media engagements for women in Paktya.
"Education is very important," she added. "Our center is focused on teaching the more than 40,000 women in Paktya."