Another week has come and gone here in Kabul. It has been a week of no convoys or any traveling. I think this has been the first week I didn’t go anywhere.
I started the week with an admin day where I stayed in the office and tried to get caught up on all the outstanding admin. I finished the DOTMLPF (Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materials, Leadership, Personnel and Facilities). It is a 17-page document. That took me most of the day.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday was the ANA Medical Leadership Conference. It was hosted and run by the ANA with very minimal input from the US mentors. This was an all of Afghanistan conference. The Brigade Surgeons, Hospital Commanding Officers and Senior Nurse Officers all presented, as did some others including MG Yaftali, the ANA Surgeon General. The counterpart US mentors from throughout the country also attended. It was locally catered for tea breaks during the day and lunch was provided. Overall, it went well. There was also a local company who provided translation services. The US mentors were all given earpieces so we could listen to the Dari in one ear and English in the other. That made the conference go much quicker.
Wednesday was a regular day of mentoring in the OT. On Thursday, I did some training with the OT nurses on the core competencies. We have missed a few weeks of training, so I am trying to get them caught up. We have 6 months to complete all 36 competencies. I won’t finish with them, so I will ask the next mentor to continue the training.
Thursday night was also another earthquake but not as strong as last weeks. It was earlier too, around 2215. I was still awake so I knew what was happening this time. Now, we have experienced 2 earthquakes in a row, both on Thursday.
Jumaa (Friday) was our off day and another day to get caught up. Every now and then it is good to have a day of no traveling, no meetings or not much of anything. A day to recharge the mental batteries is always needed. Mentoring takes a huge mental toll, so when I get the chance to refresh, I try to take it.
Today was another unique day. I found out that there were 2 new sterilizers (Autoclaves) at the National Depot. Previous OR mentors had written a contract to purchase 2 autoclaves, but they hadn’t been delivered yet. The contract was written in Sep 2008, but the machines have been stuck in customs in Pakistan. The Autoclaves at the depot were purchased by the Ministry of Defense (MOD). After an hour or two spent figuring out where the ‘claves came from, I was able to get the depot to deliver them to the hospital. Now, I need to wait on the vendor to install them in CSD (Central Sterilization Department). Hopefully, they will get installed correctly in the next few weeks. It will be a huge improvement for sterilizing the surgical instruments. The other 2 are still on order so maybe before I leave, there will be a total of 4 new sterilizers in CSD.
Again, I don’t have any new pictures. You would think by now I would remember to carry my camera around with me and actually take some pictures. Hopefully, I will have some new pictures to post in the near future.