U.S. Medics Volunteer at Djibouti Clinic
Sister Anise said she couldn't refuse medical treatment to the homeless lined up outside her door, but there was one thing she realized—she couldn't do it alone.
"I couldn't manage by myself," the Caritas Djibouti registered nurse and native of India said. "I needed help."
Volunteers from Camp Lemonnier's Expeditionary Medical Facility answered her need when four U.S. Navy corpsmen assisted Sister Anise in caring for more than 50 homeless people at Caritas Djibouti, a social service organization here, February 19.
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Russell Francek, a physician's assistant with the camp's expeditionary medical facility, said he enjoys helping Sister Anise on a regular basis.
"To get out in the community and help people who need it—you feel like you are making a contribution to make the world a slightly better place," he said.
A majority of the cases treated at Caritas are surface wounds or infections on the skin, Francek said. However, if serious cases require additional treatment, the EMF volunteers coordinate with Sister Anise and her colleagues to arrange care at Peltier General Hospital here.
There are two sides to the camp's clinic mission, both of which are operational and individual said Lieutenant Commander Guillermo Navarro, an EMF emergency physician.
"We have both the resources and personnel who are willing to go out and help," Navarro said. The personnel volunteer at the clinic because "ee feel that part of our mission is to support the camp," he said. "But some of our personal missions are to go out and volunteer and do some volunteer and humanitarian work on our own."
Navarro urged camp personnel to get out of their comfort zone and look into volunteer opportunities like the EMF volunteers do.
"You feel like you are doing something good," he said. "It's one of the things we can do to do some outreach to the community."
Volunteers from the clinic will continue to help Sister Anise and her cause during their deployment here and she said she is grateful for their assistance.
"Every single corpsman asked to go with us to the clinic," said Navarro. "So we are going to cycle them through and let them do their volunteer work."
The Americans assisting her are a "really great, wonderful help," she said with a smile. "The need is very great… I don't know how to give thanks to them."