U.S., Djiboutian Officials Dedicate Higher Institute for Health Sciences

Sgt. Maj. Bonnie Skinner, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command senior enlisted leader, and Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., CJTF-HOA commanding officer, greet official visitors during a dedication ceremony at Institut Superierur des Science de la santé (ISSS), May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. CJTF HOA Senior Enlisted Leader and Commanding Officer Greet Official Visitors During Dedication Ceremony

Sgt. Maj. Bonnie Skinner, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command senior enlisted leader, and Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., CJTF-HOA commanding officer, greet official visitors during a dedication ceremony at Institut Superierur des Science de la santé (ISSS), May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. Leadership from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, U.S. Embassy-Djibouti, the Government of Djibouti and Coalition partners attended a dedication ceremony to celebrate new additions to the medical school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka)

From left, Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, Djiboutian Minister of Higher Education and Research; Geeta Pasi, U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti; Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa commanding general; and Dr. Ammar Abdo Ahmed, general director of the Institut Superieur des Science de la santé (ISSS), or Higher Institute for Health Sciences remove the Djiboutian flag to reveal the dedication plaque for the new addition to the institute, May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. Djiboutian Flag is Removed to Reveal Dedication Plague for New Addition to Institute

From left, Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, Djiboutian Minister of Higher Education and Research; Geeta Pasi, U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti; Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa commanding general; and Dr. Ammar Abdo Ahmed, general director of the Institut Superieur des Science de la santé (ISSS), or Higher Institute for Health Sciences remove the Djiboutian flag to reveal the dedication plaque for the new addition to the institute, May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. The new addition allows for a three-fold increase of nursing students able to attend each year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka)

Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa commanding officer, addresses U.S. military members, Djiboutian nursing students, and official visitors during a dedication ceremony at Institut Superierur des Science de la santé (ISSS), or Higher Institute for Health Sciences, May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. CJTF-HOA Commander Addresses Attendees During Dedication Ceremony at ISSS

Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa commanding officer, addresses U.S. military members, Djiboutian nursing students, and official visitors during a dedication ceremony at Institut Superierur des Science de la santé (ISSS), or Higher Institute for Health Sciences, May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. The new additions to the facility include three classrooms, a medical study and lecture room, a computer room with internet access, a workshop area and additional restrooms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka)

Sgt. Maj. Bonnie Skinner, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command senior enlisted leader, laughs with three nursing students at the Institut Superierur des Science de la santé (ISSS), or Higher Institute for Health Sciences, May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. CJTF-HOA Senior Enlisted Leader Laughs with Three Nursing Students at ISSS

Sgt. Maj. Bonnie Skinner, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command senior enlisted leader, laughs with three nursing students at the Institut Superierur des Science de la santé (ISSS), or Higher Institute for Health Sciences, May 22, 2014, near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti. Skinner attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the dedication of the completed facility, a USAID, CJTF-HOA and Djiboutian government partnership project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka)

Leadership from the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa CJTF-HOA, U.S. Embassy-Djibouti, the Government of Djibouti and Coalition partners attended a dedication for an addition to the Institut Superieur des Science de la santé (ISSS), or Higher Institute for Health Sciences, May 22, 2014 near Peltier Hospital in Djibouti.

The ISSS’ addition cost $358,748 U.S. dollars and increased student capacity from 60 students every three years to 150 per year.  It includes three classrooms, a medical study and lecture room, a computer room with internet access, a workshop area and additional restrooms.

“The new [addition] … helps us respond to the increasing demand for health staff from the [Djiboutian] Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defense, National Security, coastal guard and police,” said Dr. Ammar Abdo Ahmed, general director of the ISSS. “[The U.S.] offers this to the population, and the first beneficiaries of this infrastructure are the students – the future leaders of Djibouti.”

During the dedication ceremony, students also listened to comments from Geeta Pasi, U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti; Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, the Djiboutian Minister of Higher Education and Research; and Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., CJTF-HOA commanding general.

“The students who attend this school deserve our respect and admiration for entering into a career in this dynamic, demanding and very exciting profession,” Grigsby said. “They are the future leaders and we build these leaders through education and the transformation of oneself for the greater good of Djibouti.”

The ISSS students will become nurses, midwives, laboratory technicians and paramedics.

 “… as they move through their careers they will cure, comfort, teach, mentor and most importantly, lead,” Grigsby said. “The ISSS’s contribution to knowledge in the medical field is critical for empowering our young men and women to seek a life of service to their fellow men and women.  I’m proud that CJTF-HOA can support such noble aspirations today.” 

Cheryl Anderson, USAID representative to Djibouti, was also present at the event and commented on teamwork and cooperation among CJTF-HOA, USAID and the Djiboutian government that has made this and other similar projects possible.

“We liaise with Djiboutian ministries to coordinate nominations for projects and plans for construction or renovations, she said. “We are aware of what the ministries’ plans are long term and what’s in their work plans annually, so we can look at them and say, ‘CJTF-HOA is proposing an enticing project,’ how does that fit into your work plan?’”

Anderson said CJTF-HOA has been helpful with regard to health and education infrastructure in Djibouti.

“Those two things are priorities for the Djiboutian government,” she said. “USAID has done some, and CJTF-HOA has done quite a bit as well. So that is where the USAID, CJTF-HOA partnership started.”

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