Hospital unaffected by U.S. troop withdrawal plan

By June 27, 2011

Afghanistan (MNN) – With the
announcement of a U.S. troop drawdown over the next 15 months, there's now a
jostle for power in Afghanistan.

Politicians and military
officials are scrambling to be ready for the reins by the time the surge troops
are gone. Peace talks are underway with
Taliban members while the fragility of the nation hangs in the balance.

The
CURE International team with a 110-bed maternal health and surgical hospital in Kabul is
taking the announcement in stride. Spokesman Joel Worrall says, "From our perspective, U.S. troops on the
ground have been extremely useful and effective. We've had a number of security threats and governmental
challenges over
the time that we've been there–over those six years. The fact that there's been a U.S. presence in the country has been a
benefit for CURE International."

However, Worrall notes that their
staff is not naïve. "When we first took
over the hospital, doing a full security threat analysis was one of the top
priorities." Six years later, despite
concerns over a turbulent transition, their
team has no plans to leave. "We've never had a direct threat on the hospital
itself, but because of where we are in Kabul, there have been circumstances
where insurgent activity has affected us."

Worrall adds that it's always prudent
to have plans in place should an emergency arise. "We
have staff on board and have particular protocols that we implement throughout
the hospital to keep the doctors and the patients and the families that are at
our hospital safe."

At this point, "We're just
praying that God allows us to fulfill our commitment to the Afghan people, and
that as this troop drawdown occurs, peace continues to be the order of the
day," says Worrall.    

Today, CURE International
Hospital of Kabul is considered one of the leading medical institutions in
Afghanistan. Worrall says the hospital
represents many things to many people. "We're a ministry of presence. We're
there representing Jesus Christ in a country that's going through an awful lot
of turmoil."

"We're known as a Christian
presence in that country, but we have tremendous relations not only with the
locals, but also with the Muslim population," Worrall says, adding that besides providing
care, the hospital also offers training
programs for doctors and nurses. Programs
include obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, orthopedic surgery, general
surgery, plastic surgery, as well as general practice.

Commitment keeps the outreach
moving forward. "The people need the
care that we're providing. We're there offering that because of what we
believe to be true about who God is," explains Worrall. For
the nation of Afghanistan, it is a source of hope in a time of uncertainty. "Pray for the safety of our doctors and
nurses, and for our patients. Pray for continued stability."

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