Medical symposium helps Djiboutians overcome obstacles

U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens answers a question following his presentation at the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. U.S. Navy Capt. Answers a Question Following Presentation U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens answers a question following his presentation at the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. Stevens represented Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), and was joined by health experts from various Djiboutian organizations and coalition partners to discuss best practices and ways to overcome health challenges in Djibouti. Stevens is the CJTF-HOA force surgeon.
U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Webster, right, sits and listens to a presentation during the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. U.S. Army Maj, Right, Sits and Listens to Presentation During Djibouti Medical Symposium U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Webster, right, sits and listens to a presentation during the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. Webster represented Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), and was joined by health experts from various Djiboutian organizations and coalition partners to discuss best practices and ways to overcome health challenges in Djibouti. Webster is with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team.
U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens gives his presentation on the importance of triage after a mass casualty incident at the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. U.S. Navy Capt. Gives Presentation on Importance of Triage After Mass Casualty Incidents U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens gives his presentation on the importance of triage after a mass casualty incident at the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. Stevens represented Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), and was joined by health experts from various Djiboutian organizations and coalition partners to discuss best practices and ways to overcome health challenges in Djibouti. Stevens is the CJTF-HOA force surgeon.
Djibouti Armed Forces Col. (Dr.) Abdoul-ilah Ahmed Abdi gives opening remarks during the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. Djibouti Armed Forces Col. Gives Opening Remarks During Djibouti Medical Symposium Djibouti Armed Forces Col. (Dr.) Abdoul-ilah Ahmed Abdi gives opening remarks during the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens, right, and U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Webster represented Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa during the symposium and they were joined by health experts from various Djiboutian organizations and coalition partners to discuss best practices and ways to overcome health challenges in Djibouti.
U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens, right, talks with a German Army counterpart before the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. U.S. Navy Capt. Talks with German Army Counterpart before Djibouti Medical Symposium U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens, right, talks with a German Army counterpart before the 2014 Djibouti Medical Symposium at the University of Djibouti, March 9, 2014. Stevens represented Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), and was joined by health experts from various Djiboutian organizations and coalition partners to discuss best practices and ways to overcome health challenges in Djibouti. Stevens is the CJTF-HOA force surgeon.

Health experts from various Djiboutian organizations, the U.S. military and coalition partners gathered at the University of Djibouti March 9, 2014, for the Djibouti Medical Symposium to discuss best practices and ways to overcome health challenges.

U.S. Navy Capt. Rom Stevens and U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Webster represented Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). Members of Camp Lemonnier, the Djibouti Armed Forces, the German Army, the World Health Organization–Djibouti, and several others joined them.

“I think the major significance was we got a chance to talk to our Djiboutian counterparts and learn from them,” said Stevens, CJTF-HOA force surgeon. “We  learned what their medical issues are in Djibouti, specifically updates on the malaria outbreak, but also to get an idea of what medical practices are like.”

Malaria has been a big concern for Djiboutian citizens, and the group discussed ways to combat malaria, such as bed nets. However, Stevens said the key to fighting the battle is “vector surveillance,” which means finding the areas of the city where the illness and breeding is the most prevalent. Those are the primary target areas for anti-mosquito efforts.

The symposium also addressed health issues beyond malaria. Stevens talked to the group about triage and the importance of categorizing patients after a mass casualty event, which means treating those with most severe injuries first.

Webster, 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion’s functional specialty team, talked about the role of civil affairs medical engagements.

According to Webster, it’s important for CJTF-HOA to stay involved. “(It) keeps us engaged with the local medical population and medical intelligence,” he said.

Stevens said he hoped the symposium will enable medical improvements in the near future and looks forward to more events to stay in tune with the medical situation in Djibouti.

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