The gold standard
A frontline team of Australian and British medical professionals deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, are working together to protect the health and wellbeing of our troops.
At Camp Qargha, the westernmost outpost of Kabul, Australian Army nursing officer Captain Karen Sharp and British Army senior medical officer Major Seth Makin are leading a small coalition team to provide the healthcare needs for the camp.
“We are an integrated multinational team and handle all medical circumstances that arise together,” Major Makin said.
“In Qargha, we have almost a dozen nationalities in camp. In any given day we can be treating New Zealanders, supporting American vaccination efforts, training team medics and combat first aiders or providing the medical component of the Quick Reaction Force who respond to incidents around camp or in Kabul if needed.
“One team, one dream sounds a bit cliché, but it has worked and continues to work and that makes everyone in Qargha better for it.”
Joining the Army four years ago, Captain Karen Sharp brings 30 years of civilian-registered nursing experience to the team.
“I joined the Army to give something back to my country. To be given this opportunity has been a highlight of my career,” Captain Sharp said.
She said that as her first warlike deployment, to be in Afghanistan and working alongside coalition partners was a humbling experience.
“We are a very cohesive team and our goals are exactly the same – the delivery of gold-standard care to promote the best outcome for our patients,” Captain Sharp said.
Camp Qargha is home to Australia’s largest contribution in Afghanistan who work as advisers, support staff and force-protection soldiers alongside other coalition partners.
There are about 200 Australian Defence Force personnel deployed throughout Afghanistan who contribute to the NATO-led Resolute Support Train, Advise and Assist mission.