Ultrasound aid for war-torn Kabul

This infra-red image shows Lt Colonel Robertson demonstrating shoulder ultrasound to students at Kabul Hospital using the GE Logic e scanner. 


News in the UK has recently been dominated by the gloom and doom of the recession and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.  But Philips Medical (with an ultrasound scanner donation) and General Electric Medical (with loaned ultrasound teaching equipment) recently brought a smile to one hospital ultrasound department, “doing their bit” for the international effort to support development of health services in Kabul.


Lt Col Duncan Robertson was posted out to Kabul in March 2009.  As a qualified sonographer and GP, part of his remit was to look around for novel ways to try and improve the lot of the local doctors. 


On the back of a couple of liaison visits to injured Afghan-British interpreters at the main Kabul Orthopaedic Hospital, contact was made with the embedded US Army Medical Aid Team (USAMAT) of mentors. 


They were teaching introductory ultrasound skills and science in an environment of very basic equipment.


Recalls Lt Colonel Duncan Robertson: “Asking if there was anything to contribute, they took me up on the offer to do some sessions on musculoskeletal ultrasound.  But to achieve this I needed some, ideally portable, equipment.


“I got in touch with a contact at General Electric Medical and over the course of a couple of weeks and a few calls and emails, GE agreed to kindly loan a portable GE Logic e ultrasound scanner to our medical facility in Kabul for the remainder of the tour.”


See the full report on page 12 of the May 2010 issue of RAD Magazine.

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