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Healthcare key to Afghan security

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- British troops are working to ensure that citizens in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province have access to healthcare as a strategy to secure the region.

Violence in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province dating back to the country's war with the Soviet Union has left the health infrastructure largely destroyed. Military and civilian personnel in the British Provincial Reconstruction Team operating in the region are working to counter Taliban threats by ensuring local Afghans have access to basic health services, the British Ministry of Defense reported.

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Officials with the Provincial Reconstruction Team, as part of the Health Support Program, say access to healthcare, including training for midwives and child immunization, among other basic health services, is central to overall stability in the region.

The healthcare operation is also an initiative to help restore "the confidence of Afghans in local government," the release said.

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