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Urgently Needed Medical Textbooks To Afghanistan

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
Media Release
Monday June 27, 2005

Urgently Needed Medical Textbooks Go To Afghanistan

Urgently needed medical textbooks on subjects ranging from paediatrics and podiatry to neurology and nursing will soon be on their way to an Afghanistan hospital, courtesy of some New Zealand' medical fraternity and a Territorial Force officer, Dunedin anaesthetist Dr John Wilson.

Dr Wilson, who, as a Territorial Force soldier belongs to the Otago South Regiment, was the medical officer for a rotation of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction team in Afghanistan last year. He is usually based at either Dunedin or Mercy hospitals.

"In Bamyan where I was based with the NZPRT I helped train some of the nurses and doctors, and also worked as an anaesthetist. The Taliban destroyed most of their textbooks, and they were desperate for textbooks they could consult, both for on-going teaching or when they needed information during a medical procedure."

"When I left to return to New Zealand they asked me if I could send them a anaesthetics text book. I talked to people I know in Dunedin about the work the PRT is doing, and the need for medical books, and before long I had quite a pile of them. In all about 150 have been donated, on nearly every medical subject you can think of."

Dr Wilson said while most of the text books are about five years old, that is ideal. "The technology they are using in the hospital there is about five years behind what it is here and in, for example, America or Britain. The older books suit their needs much more than recently-released books."

The books will be transported to Bamyan by the RNZAF when the next rotation of Defence personnel deploy in July.


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