Access to proper health care is often a challenge for pastoralists, villagers, and people living in low-income areas due to the time, cost, and distance to urban medical facilities. Specialty medical care however, is even tougher to attain for those in need.
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa service members recently helped address this need by partnering with Djiboutian medical personnel to deliver specialty health care to more than 400 Djiboutians during a Medical Civic Action Program outreach event at Ali Sabieh Medical Clinic in Djibouti.
“We work side-by-side with the Djiboutian providers, doctors, nurses and physician assistants,” said Capt. Serena Staples, 415th Civil Affairs Battalion public health nurse. “It’s a really good learning experience for everyone; the whole region benefits.”
U.S. Army CA BN personnel, assigned to CJTF-HOA, and their medical functional specialty teams, collaborated with Djibouti’s Ministry of Health to provide an obstetrician-gynecologist, pediatrician, dentist and ophthalmologist for patients.
“There are so many people that will benefit from the specialty care,” Staples said. “We can only do so much in a certain amount of time, but I think we reached out to a good majority of the population who needed it. I think they were really appreciative. The ministry of health was very happy with how everything went.”
CJTF-HOA aims to provide three MCAPs a fiscal year. In the past, the CA BN doctors administered medical services during MCAPs, but here they assisted the trained Djiboutian doctors.
“Not only does the medical caravan keep the hospital healthier,” said Dr. Ahmed Robleh, Hospital Peetier pediatrician, “but the most important part to me is they’re giving me support; I’m happy to work with them.”