The Afghan Ministry of Defense rejects the report, saying that “it is impossible to deploy troops to their missions without determining their blood type”.
Wrong Blood Type Record Threatens ANA Soldiers’ Lives
The Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in its recent report has said that many wounded Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel lose their lives due to wrong blood type injections.
The report highlights blood collection and screening procedure in the ANA emphasizing that knowing the blood types of the personnel is critical for sustainability of the ANA to inject the correct blood type to them when needed.
The report says that knowing the blood type of the soldiers and having them recorded is also necessary to protect the soldiers against infectious diseases.
According to the report, thousands of ANA personnel have been recruited without their blood being tested or their blood type have been typed wrongly.
“An advisor assisting ANA personnel at Afghan National Army Recruiting Command told us that he was aware that ANA soldiers have been killed from receiving the wrong type of blood when injured in combat,” said the report.
“We completely reject this, because it is impossible to send our soldiers to their departments without determining their blood type. The country is in war and this is very necessary,” Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told TOLOnews on Friday.
The report highlights that in 2017, between January and July, at least 15,400 new personnel recruited in the ANA did not have their blood tested.
According to the report, blood type of at least nine percent of the total ANA force has remained confirmed.
The report says the Afghan National Army Recruiting Command (ANAREC) does not have enough supplies and equipment to collect the blood of the new recruited soldiers. The authority referred soldiers to local physicians to test their blood and pay the cost themselves.
The ANAREC relied on the results the new soldiers and personnel brought from the local doctors without knowing whether the physician actually had tested the blood or no.
“This is a big negligence and it should not happen. If it happens, it should be taken serious because soldiers’ lives will be under threat,” MP Safiullah Hashimi said.
According to SIGAR, in some cases, physicians did not conduct medical examinations to determine the blood type of the soldiers and personnel.
“During the course of our review, we received information that physicians may be stamping medical forms without actually collecting and testing blood samples, or without conducting any medical examinations,” the report said.
“Their (soldiers’) blood group should be known in anywhere they are, because they will need immediate primary assistance when they are wounded,” Nadir Baluch, a former senator, said.
According to the report, all the military and civilian personnel of Defense Ministry are required to have their blood type determined for infectious diseases. However, the data released by SIGAR shows that by the August 2017, out of 171,510 active records of the defense ministry, blood type of 77,178 of them have not been recorded in the system.
SIGAR quoting a US Air Force public health officer as saying that because the ANA has not been collecting and testing blood, the ANA has been over-vaccinating the soldiers to protect them against infectious diseases.