Pakistani female peacekeepers at the forefront of a military hospital in Mali

United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)

Amid ongoing troop rotations in Mopti, female peacekeepers serving with the Pakistani contingent look back with pride on their multiple accomplishments.

Pakistan is one of the oldest and largest troop and police contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations. Yet in Mopti, central Mali, this contingent is bringing much more than just troops: having built a state-of-the-art military hospital from scratch, Pakistani peacekeepers are also providing life-saving medical assistance to peacekeepers in each contingent. who are injured in the line of duty, as well as Malian civilians and members of the Malian Defense and Security Forces (MDSF).

Within the Tier 2 Hospital, a key logistical asset for MINUSMA, Pakistani female peacekeepers are proudly on the front line providing emergency medical and surgical care, reflecting their country’s deep-rooted commitment defend the role of women in promoting lasting peace and security.

A difficult context

As part of the pioneering team that created this pioneering field medical facility, Lt. Col. Ambreen EHSAN and Major Farah Javed FAROOQI describe the honor they feel in serving humanity by serving their country.

“Pakistan has played a leading role, especially in military medical services, and has maintained high standards of medical services for peacekeepers as well as war-affected civilians,” says Lt. Col. Amber EHSAN.

This is no small feat in Mali’s extremely volatile security environment. The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is one of the most dangerous places in the world for peacekeepers. Since the Mission’s creation in 2013, more than 250 MINUSMA peacekeepers have lost their lives trying to bring lasting peace to the West African country. Not only do peacekeepers continue to be deliberately targeted by armed terrorist groups, but they also regularly face threats posed by landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – causing life-threatening injuries that Pakistan’s medical contingent is the first to deal with.

Maj Farah Javed FAROOQI points out that “a challenging environment like this has really chiseled and honed our professional efficiency in terms of providing medical care in the field, in terms of evacuating casualties from the field to medical facilities in complete safety, and then giving lives medical and surgical care in our hospital. In retrospect, our professional efficiency and skills have been tested many times; however, we overcame all challenges and played a major role in maintaining Peace.

An unwavering commitment to health and peace

Since 1960, Pakistan has contributed more than 200,000 servicemen and women to 46 UN missions around the world. The nation’s commitment to peace is evident, and Lt. Col. Ambreen EHSAN says it is part of his philosophy.

“Since the establishment of Pakistan, the nation has tried to support the oppressed nations of the world.”

Maj Farah Javed FAROOQI agrees, adding that “our founding ancestor Muhammad Ali Jinnah said ‘our goal should be peace within and peace without’, that is what we seek here and beyond the borders of our country”.

Throughout their year-long deployment, the two female peacekeepers embodied these fundamental values ​​for their nation and played a pivotal role in building lasting peace in Mali. From casualty management to handling medical emergencies, their work has earned them the respect and trust of their patients and fellow peacekeepers.

The best and the brightest

The Pakistani army selects the best officers and soldiers to send them to the many peacekeeping missions to which it provides troops. The success of the Mopti military hospital in terms of customer satisfaction is therefore not a surprise.

First-time peacekeeper Maj Farah Javed FAROOQI admits she is leaving fully realized due to the overwhelming response of gratitude to her team’s performance, both from patients but also from visiting dignitaries.

“Nothing makes you more satisfied and fulfilled than healing and bringing smiles to people who have suffered and been hurt, physically and mentally.”

Lt. Col. Ambreen EHSAN agrees. “Establishing a hospital since its founding, building and maintaining international standards for patient care and achieving full patient satisfaction has been our honor and pride.”

Despite their eagerness to reunite with their families after more than a year of loyal service in central Mali, the duo confess to a certain sentimentality settling in on the eve of their departure.

Recalling his first experience of peacekeeping in Mali, Maj Farah Javed FAROOQI describes his stay as unforgettable. “It’s a beautiful land, a red-carpeted land, with beautiful people, big generous hearts and gentle language, and they made us feel trustworthy enough to give them the best care we could in our capacity. professional.”

Distributed by APO Group for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

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