German, French and Japanese military staff in addition to U.S. military and embassy representatives gathered this week in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti for a course addressing East African medical challenges for military providers.
The Military Tropical Medicine Course was hosted by the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Surgeon Cell and the U.S. Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC), based in Bethesda, Maryland.
The classroom instruction intended to train physicians, midlevel medical practitioners, nurses and other health providers in the diagnosis and treatment of common regional infectious and communicable diseases, including malaria, Zika virus, Ebola, typhoid fever and rabies.
“We have providers coming from parts of the world who might not be familiar with some of the tropical diseases that we see in Sub-Saharan Africa, certainly parts of the Horn of Africa region, where we see these diseases significantly more,” said guest speaker Lt. Col. Peter Matthews, U.S. Africa Command infectious disease consultant from Stuttgart, Germany. “[Our European counterparts] have a different training pipeline; but for them, they also live in temperate climate and they deploy here the same as we do.”
“It’s very interesting, since, we all don’t have the same approach to treating these diseases,” said Anne Pauline Commins, a French air force nurse deployed to Base Aérienne 188, Djibouti. “The speakers are very passionate about the topics and we are taking notes to bring back to our clinic and our doctors.”
While the approximately 60 attendees are predominately slated to provide care for their individual nation’s defense force, the varying missions in the region may result in training or caring for foreign military personnel or local civilians.
“The mission dictates with whom these providers will come in contact,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nehkonti Adams, guest speaker and NMPDC director. “They may provide academic exchange with foreign military providers, or local nationals if they are involved in humanitarian medical outreach.”
Adapted from original story by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa