Uganda, U.S. Health Campaign Aids Villagers

A boy in Kakute, Uganda, receives a deworming tablet from U.S. Army Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion (411th CA BN), in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), April 23, 2013. The tablets treat parasitic infections, common in Kakute, often caused by poorly sanitized water and food sources. In addition to distributing tablets, military members from CJTF-HOA and the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) shared information about effective water and food hygiene practices to help prevent the spread of diseases. The event was part of One Health, a whole-of-government program coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to help strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette) CJTF-HOA Photo A boy in Kakute, Uganda, receives a deworming tablet from U.S. Army Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion (411th CA BN), in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), April 23, 2013. The tablets treat parasitic infections, common in Kakute, often caused by poorly sanitized water and food sources. In addition to distributing tablets, military members from CJTF-HOA and the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) shared information about effective water and food hygiene practices to help prevent the spread of diseases. The event was part of One Health, a whole-of-government program coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to help strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)
U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew A. Herman,  medical planner with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Surgeon Cell, and Maj. (Dr.) Godwin B. Bagyenzi, director of medical research for Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) Health Services, give a deworming tablet to a villager in Kakute, Uganda, April 23, 2013. U.S. and Uganda soldiers dispensed the tablets as a preventive measure to protect residents from intestinal worms, which are common in the region. The project was one of the many events of One Health, a 2-week whole-of-government program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. Though the Uganda government provides tablets to all residents every six months, it can be difficult for some residents to pick up the pills at clinics. The U.S. Agency for International Development, a sponsor of One Health, donated these tablets as a convenience to villagers and to encourage them to meet with the CJTF-HOA and UPDF healthcare experts. (Photo by U.S Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette) CJTF-HOA Photo U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew A. Herman, medical planner with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Surgeon Cell, and Maj. (Dr.) Godwin B. Bagyenzi, director of medical research for Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) Health Services, give a deworming tablet to a villager in Kakute, Uganda, April 23, 2013. U.S. and Uganda soldiers dispensed the tablets as a preventive measure to protect residents from intestinal worms, which are common in the region. The project was one of the many events of One Health, a 2-week whole-of-government program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. Though the Uganda government provides tablets to all residents every six months, it can be difficult for some residents to pick up the pills at clinics. The U.S. Agency for International Development, a sponsor of One Health, donated these tablets as a convenience to villagers and to encourage them to meet with the CJTF-HOA and UPDF healthcare experts. (Photo by U.S Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)
U.S. Army Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), gives a deworming tablet to a boy in Kakute, Uganda, April 23, 2013. The tablets control parasitic infections, common in Kakute, often caused by poorly sanitized water or food. Healthcare experts from the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF), CJTF-HOA Surgeon Cell and 411th CA BN dispensed the tablets along with vitamins and taught villagers effective water and food-sanitizing procedures as part of One Health, a 2-week program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. Overall, One Health is a whole-of-government program coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette) CJTF-HOA Photo U.S. Army Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), gives a deworming tablet to a boy in Kakute, Uganda, April 23, 2013. The tablets control parasitic infections, common in Kakute, often caused by poorly sanitized water or food. Healthcare experts from the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF), CJTF-HOA Surgeon Cell and 411th CA BN dispensed the tablets along with vitamins and taught villagers effective water and food-sanitizing procedures as part of One Health, a 2-week program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. Overall, One Health is a whole-of-government program coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Allen Lively, a military information support operations team chief for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA); Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) Health Services Lieutenant Julius Iga, a vector control officer; and Maj. (Dr.) Godwin B. Bagyenzi, director of medical research for the UPDF, give multivitamins to villagers in Kakute, Uganda, April 23, 2013. Healthcare experts from UPDF and CJTF-HOA distributed the vitamins as part of One Health, a 2-week program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. In a whole-of-government approach, One Health was coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to help strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette) CJTF-HOA Photo U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Allen Lively, a military information support operations team chief for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA); Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) Health Services Lieutenant Julius Iga, a vector control officer; and Maj. (Dr.) Godwin B. Bagyenzi, director of medical research for the UPDF, give multivitamins to villagers in Kakute, Uganda, April 23, 2013. Healthcare experts from UPDF and CJTF-HOA distributed the vitamins as part of One Health, a 2-week program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. In a whole-of-government approach, One Health was coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to help strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)
The gloved hand of U.S. Army Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion (411th CA BN), in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), gives a deworming tablet to a Kakute, Uganda, villager April 23, 2013. The tablets control parasitic infections, common in Kakute, often caused by poorly sanitized water and food sources. Healthcare experts from the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF), Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Surgeon Cell and 411th Civil Affairs Battalion dispensed the tablets as part of One Health, a 2-week program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnecte. In a whole-of-government approach, One Health was coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to help strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette) CJTF-HOA Photo The gloved hand of U.S. Army Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion (411th CA BN), in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), gives a deworming tablet to a Kakute, Uganda, villager April 23, 2013. The tablets control parasitic infections, common in Kakute, often caused by poorly sanitized water and food sources. Healthcare experts from the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF), Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Surgeon Cell and 411th Civil Affairs Battalion dispensed the tablets as part of One Health, a 2-week program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnecte. In a whole-of-government approach, One Health was coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda and CJTF-HOA to help strengthen Uganda's healthcare capabilities. (Photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)

Ugandan and U.S. military healthcare experts distributed vitamins and deworming tablets to improve the health condition of villagers in Kakute, Uganda, April 23, 2013, as part of a comprehensive program called One Health.

Intestinal worms, transmitted through food or water, are pervasive throughout East Africa and contribute to a range of health problems, such as malnutrition or anemia. Working together, members from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's Surgeon Cell, 411th Civil Affairs Battalion and the Uganda People's Defense Force dispensed hundreds of tablets - an effective, low-cost solution.

"The deworming tablets are taken orally, inexpensive, and treat all common intestinal worms," said U.S. Army Maj. Daisy Wilson, a public-health nurse with the 411th CA BN. "And they're safe, even when given to uninfected individuals."

Though rare, parasitic infestation can be life-threatening. Kakute is in Uganda's Luwero District, where nine percent of children below the age of five have intestinal worms, according to a 2008 study from the Makerere University Medical School African Health Services Department in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

"Deworming is very important, because parasites are common in children here," said Wilson. "We gave the villagers the tablets as a preventative measure. Villagers use open water sources (untreated), for drinking, cooking and cleaning, which put them at a high risk for intestinal worms."

Though the Ugandan government provides its residents deworming tablets every six months at no cost, the U.S. Agency for International Development funded the supply that One Health members dispensed for villagers' convenience and to encourage them to meet with the CJTF-HOA and UPDF healthcare experts.

"Villagers can pick up tablets at clinics, but it's not always easy for them to get there," said Wilson. "We brought the tablets to make it convenient for them."

By and large, the distribution of multivitamins and tablets was one of many One Health projects, a 2-week program that recognizes the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. Overall, One Health is a whole-of-government program coordinated by the Ugandan government, UPDF, USAID, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda, and CJTF-HOA.

"We're here as a team from UDPF in collaboration with the U.S. military medical corps to address issues that are affecting our communities," said UPDF Maj. (Dr.) Godwin B. Bagyenzi, director of medical research for the UPDF, who also helped dispense the tablets. "This partnership of One Health is a good concept we need to advance."

In addition to dispensing the tablets, One Health members taught villagers how to improve water, food and personal hygiene sanitation procedures - fulfilling One Health's goal to prevent the spread of disease.

"Words can't explain how I feel," said Wilson, when asked how she felt about One Health's importance. "We're really looking forward to continuing the One Health mission, because it's really needed here."

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