Surgeons Serve War-Torn Afghanistan City

Released on: January 18, 2008, 11:25 am

Press Release Author: Matt Pitman

Industry: Non Profit

Press Release Summary: Two orthopedic surgeons volunteering for the Surgical Implant
Generation Network, a nonprofit orthopedic health organization, will be traveling to
Kabul, Afghanistan for two weeks to train Afghani doctors.

Press Release Body: KABUL, Af. Two orthopedic surgeons volunteering for a nonprofit
orthopedic health organization will be traveling to Kabul, Afghanistan for two weeks
to train Afghani doctors. Doctors Lewis Zirkle and David Templeman are volunteers
with SIGN, the Surgical Implant Generation Network, a nonprofit that supplies
surgical implants and training to hospitals in developing countries. They will be in
Kabul from January 20th to February 3rd to teach Afghani doctors how to use surgical
implants to stabilize broken bones - a technique that, according to Zirkle, will
help save the limbs of those injured in Taliban attacks and in everyday accidents.
The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has led to increased violence in Kabul. Most
recently, on January 14th, a Taliban attack on a Kabul hotel killed seven people and
wounded six more. Kabul hospitals have also attracted casualties from the
surrounding region, and often treat victims of everything from land mines to traffic
accidents. Because of the poor state of Afghani medical infrastructure, which has
been ravaged by twenty years of conflict and poverty, much of the medical care in
Kabul is provided by foreign agencies. SIGN is working to build Afghanis' capacity
to treat themselves by providing free medical training, instruments, and surgical
Jeanne Dillner, CEO of SIGN, will be traveling with Zirkle, SIGN's president, to
begin two new programs in Afghanistan. For each SIGN program, SIGN sends volunteer
surgeons to train local doctors and supplies those doctors with instruments and
implants designed and manufactured by the nonprofit. The doctors then serve their
local population by providing orthopedic surgery at no cost. The end result is a
better level of orthopedic care for patients who could not afford treatment of their
injured limbs. SIGN currently has 130 of these programs worldwide, many of which are
in areas of conflict like Afghanistan. In Pakistan, where SIGN has started four new
programs since responding to the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake, SIGN programs continue to
treat patients despite that nation's civil unrest.

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Contact Details: Matt Pitman

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