Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Clinic to Nowhere

If this is what it feels like to win against bureaucracy I like it.

I wrote several weeks ago about a very large Police clinic which was to be constructed in our Region. It will really be a poly-clinic with xray, laboratory, and a small Emergency/Triage area. I am sure my Afghan friends will call it a 'shafa khona', or hospital, instead of a clinic.

The site was going to be at a small training camp about 5 miles out of town in the desert. Today I was able to meet with some Engineers who control the building plans and projects from Kabul. With very little persuasion, I was able to plead the case for moving construction closer to the city, where the population to be served is located. While 5 miles doesn't sound like very far to us it might as well be the other side of the moon to most Afghans. The main mode of transportation is by foot, or if you are lucky by taxi or donkey cart. We have two prospective sites and there is still a lot of contracting work to go through, but we are one step closer to having the right clinic in the right location. As an added bonus we were able to convince the team that our Regional medical logistics officer needs a small warehouse. This will be added to the construction project as well. While it did take a little time and patience (what doesn't in Afghanistan) these changes will fulfill the original intent of these gifts from our country to the people of Afghanistan.

I think this may have been the reason I am here in this country; to modify this one project. It could have easily slipped through to completion and been essentially worthless. But with some good old fashioned detective work and persistence positive change has occured.

I feel a little rebellious. Perhaps now that I have stopped the "Clinic to Nowhere" I'll run for Governor.

1 comment:

  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/08/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.