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Brigid's pride in Afghan aid mission.

Byline: By SAM CASEY News Reporter

TERRITORIAL Army doctor Brigid Allagoa has been honoured following a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Lt Col Allagoa, 50, received the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) medal for her service in Helmand Province last year.

She said: "I do feel a sense of pride.

The TA has contributed a huge amount to the Army's effort out there. You get paid for the time you're there, but there's a lot of people who give up a lot to be there."

Consultant physician Dr Allagoa, of Daisy Lea Lane, left her job at Dewsbury District Hospital in July to join British forces at Camp Bastion for three months.

She said: "We were there to look after troops from a medical point of view and were also needed in situations where there was a major incident.

"In September there was a suicide bombing and a number of civilians were involved. Eight people were seriously wounded.

"In situations like that the hospital services were overwhelmed."

It is the second time Dr Allagoa has served with the British Army. She spent time in Basra, Iraq, three years ago, for which she also received a medal.

Before her most recent tour she had to undergo rigorous physical training.

While in Afghanistan, where temperatures hit 50degC at times, she had to share a tent with nine other people.

There were five showers between about 120 women.

She had to carry a pistol during 12-hour shifts in the military hospital.

She said: "It was less about protecting yourself, and more about protecting your patient. The chaplains were the only ones who didn't have to carry a weapon."

She added: "I don't think we saw as many patients as we would in hospital England, but you see more fatalities, including civilians and children.

"As doctors you are trained to detach yourself otherwise you wouldn't be able to cope.

"I wouldn't say I enjoyed the experience, but you do get satisfaction from what you do. You learn a lot."

CAPTION(S):

FRONT LINE: Paediatrician Brigid Allagoa and her medals (top) and pictured treating youngsters in Iraq and Afghanistan (JH130308Amedals)
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 14, 2008
Words:355
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