Tanzania Partners with US, Provides Medical Care for Women, Children

MTIMBWANI, Tanzania (Jan. 9, 2012) - Zainabu Mwamsema, Mtimbwani Dispensary medical attendant, gives medication to a Tanzanian woman during a Medical Civil Action Program at Mtimbwani, Tanzania, January 9. Tanzanian medical providers and U.S. service members cared for more than 2,100 women and children at four locations during the 5-day MEDCAP. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch) CJTF-HOA Photo MTIMBWANI, Tanzania (Jan. 9, 2012) - Zainabu Mwamsema, Mtimbwani Dispensary medical attendant, gives medication to a Tanzanian woman during a Medical Civil Action Program at Mtimbwani, Tanzania, January 9. Tanzanian medical providers and U.S. service members cared for more than 2,100 women and children at four locations during the 5-day MEDCAP. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch)
DUGA MAFORONI, Tanzania (Jan. 10, 2012) - Daniel Katazi, Dugu Maforoni Dispensary health officer, gathers information from a Tanzanian woman during a Medical Civil Action Program at Duga Maforoni, Tanzania, January 10.  During the MEDCAP, women and children received a preventive health educational briefing, a consultation with a medical provider and applicable vitamins, medications and corrective eye wear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch) CJTF-HOA Photo DUGA MAFORONI, Tanzania (Jan. 10, 2012) - Daniel Katazi, Dugu Maforoni Dispensary health officer, gathers information from a Tanzanian woman during a Medical Civil Action Program at Duga Maforoni, Tanzania, January 10. During the MEDCAP, women and children received a preventive health educational briefing, a consultation with a medical provider and applicable vitamins, medications and corrective eye wear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch)
MTIMBWANI, Tanzania (Jan. 9, 2012) - U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Andre Moxley (right), 490th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Unit preventive medicine non-commissioned officer, and Ndisha Joseph, World Vision project coordinator, give an educational briefing to women and children about preventive health during a Medical Civil Action Program at Mtimbwani, Tanzania, January 9. The briefing covered topics such as HIV, AIDS and malaria prevention as well as prenatal nutrition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch) CJTF-HOA Photo MTIMBWANI, Tanzania (Jan. 9, 2012) - U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Andre Moxley (right), 490th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Unit preventive medicine non-commissioned officer, and Ndisha Joseph, World Vision project coordinator, give an educational briefing to women and children about preventive health during a Medical Civil Action Program at Mtimbwani, Tanzania, January 9. The briefing covered topics such as HIV, AIDS and malaria prevention as well as prenatal nutrition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch)
MTIMBWANI, Tanzania (Jan. 9, 2012) - Mahija Abdallah, Mtimbwani Dispensary mother and child health care specialist, gathers information from a Tanzanian woman during a Medical Civil Action Program at Mtimbwani, Tanzania, January 9. Tanzanian medical providers and U.S. service members cared for more than 450 women and children at the Mtimbwani Dispensary that day. The MEDCAP gave women 15 to 49 years old and children under 5 years old enhanced medical care as part of the Tanzanian Health Initiative, which parallels the U.S. government's Global Health Initiative. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch) CJTF-HOA Photo MTIMBWANI, Tanzania (Jan. 9, 2012) - Mahija Abdallah, Mtimbwani Dispensary mother and child health care specialist, gathers information from a Tanzanian woman during a Medical Civil Action Program at Mtimbwani, Tanzania, January 9. Tanzanian medical providers and U.S. service members cared for more than 450 women and children at the Mtimbwani Dispensary that day. The MEDCAP gave women 15 to 49 years old and children under 5 years old enhanced medical care as part of the Tanzanian Health Initiative, which parallels the U.S. government's Global Health Initiative. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch)
DUGA MAFORONI, Tanzania (Jan. 10, 2012) - Obasi Kombo (center) and Ester Maiga (right), Duga Maforoni Dispensary nurses, and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Natalie Tussey, Camp Lemonnier primary care physician and MEDCAP medical care provider, discuss medication during a Medical Civil Action Program at Duga Maforoni, Tanzania, January 10. During the MEDCAP, Tanzanian medical providers, Tanzania People's Defense Force members, local police and U.S. service members partnered to provide health care and preventive medicine education to women and children in the Tanga region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch) CJTF-HOA Photo DUGA MAFORONI, Tanzania (Jan. 10, 2012) - Obasi Kombo (center) and Ester Maiga (right), Duga Maforoni Dispensary nurses, and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Natalie Tussey, Camp Lemonnier primary care physician and MEDCAP medical care provider, discuss medication during a Medical Civil Action Program at Duga Maforoni, Tanzania, January 10. During the MEDCAP, Tanzanian medical providers, Tanzania People's Defense Force members, local police and U.S. service members partnered to provide health care and preventive medicine education to women and children in the Tanga region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch)

Tanzanian medical providers working in partnership with U.S. service members from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa provided medical care to more than 2,100 Tanzanian women and children during a Medical Civil Action Program January 9 - 13.

The 5-day MEDCAP was conducted in the villages of Mtimbwani, Duga Maforoni, Mwakajembe and Daluni in the Tanga region in northeast Tanzania in coordination with the Tanzania People's Defense Force and local police.

"This is a very important exercise," said Saumu Abdalha, a mother and a representative for women in the Mtimbwani community. "Health services are a bit limited in rural areas."

The program supported the Tanzanian Health Initiative, a program that seeks to provide a comprehensive approach to health for the Tanzanian people and parallels the U.S. government's Global Health Initiative.

"We wanted to focus on women and children's health. It is very important to have healthy moms from the beginning," said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Natalie Tussey, Camp Lemonnier primary care physician and MEDCAP medical care provider.

During the program, women of childbearing age and children under 5 years old received a preventive health educational briefing, a consultation with a doctor and medication if necessary.

After registering, MEDCAP participants received tips on topics such as HIV, AIDS and malaria prevention, as well as preventive medicine measures for food and waterborne illnesses.

"This is helping a lot. The health education part is giving us awareness of how to prevent various diseases," Abdalha said. "If people do not have knowledge, they will suffer because of the diseases."

After the briefing, the women and children were seen by Tanzanian doctors and were either given treatment or referred to larger medical facilities, before receiving applicable vitamins, medications and corrective eyewear.

The Tanzanian medical providers did most of the work. The U.S. service members were simply helping "them do what they normally do by providing assets that we have," said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Andre Moxley, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Unit preventive medicine non-commissioned officer.

CJTF-HOA provided medical supplies and helped the Tanzanian medical providers treat the patients, said Moxley.

"It has been an excellent experience seeing what their needs are and how we can help assist them with their needs," Moxley added.

Despite all the work put into caring for more than 2,100 patients in the rural villages, the local doctors and service members agree it was worth the effort.

"If there was not an exercise like this, the patients would remain with diseases not treated and not attended to," said Mamwanaisha Sharia, a clinic officer and a doctor of medicine. "There are a lot of patients that have been attended to."

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