Afghanistan - November 2010

Phillips Danmark has donated an almost new transportable x-ray apparatus to Global Medical Aid. After deliberating and discussing with, amongst others the Udenrigsministeriet (The State Department of Denmark), it was decided to pass on to the Den Danske Afghanistan Komité (The Danish Afghanistan Committee) which runs a Danida-supported hospital in Afghanistan's second largest city, Herat.  
Sugi and I (Hans Frederik Dydensborg) left for Afghanistan at the end of November 2010. The time was decided by DR (Danish TV station) so that the presentation ceremony of the equipment could take place in the presence of a journalist from the network in Afghanistan.  

Because there is no air cargo connection between Kabul and Herat, and since the equipment could not fit on a domestic flight, or be sent by car, the Danish Air Force transported the equipment from Karup (Denmark) to Herat. In Herat the Italian ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) forces gave us permission to use the Italian military airport.  
By using this approach we avoided Afghan customs, which gave significant timewise advantages.

The equipment was delivered to the hospital with a large ceremony where, among others, the Afghan Vice Health Minister, the local representatives for the health authorities, the leaders of the Italian humanitarian organization AISPO, and the journalist from DR were present.
It had been arranged by the Danish State Department with the journalist that the story should be about the donation, but this only happened in a limited way – see the news story below (we apologize that not everything is in English)

AISPO – www.aispo.org  - is responsible for Italy's humanitarian efforts in the province of Herat, including medicine supplies to the hospitals.
We have therefore entered into an agreement with AISPO about that we will deliver medicine to Herat, and then AISPO will distribute the medicine to the hospitals. All this will be done in accordance with our guidelines for medicine donations.

In Kabul we once again met with the Vice Health Minister, Dr. Nadera Hayat Burhani, along with the director of the Health Ministry's international department, Dr. Habibullah Ahmadzai.
We entered into a deal that GMA could also deliver medicine to Kabul's hospitals, following our guidelines. The Minister asked Dr. Ahmadzai see to that customs handling will be dealt with swiftly, and we also received the promise that there will be no taxes or other fees.
Here is the x-ray equipment.