U.S. Air Force medics collaborate with Sri Lankan forces in healing "liberated" East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 September 2007, 10:38 GMT]
In a press release issued on Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said a nine-member United States Air Force (USAF) medics have completed a medical/dental mission in Kappalthu'rai, Eachchilampattu and Vaakarai in "recently-liberated eastern region of Sri Lanka," working alongside "colleagues" in the Sri Lankan armed forces.

Full text of the press release, issued by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, follows:

U.S. Air Force Medical teams work alongside their Sri Lankan colleagues to help people in the East

Members of the USAF medical team in the east [Photo: U.S. Embassy in Colombo]
Members of the USAF medical team in the east [Photo: U.S. Embassy in Colombo]
COLOMBO, September 13, 2007 - A nine-person team of United States Air Force (USAF) medics, working alongside colleagues in the Sri Lankan armed forces, recently completed a medical/dental humanitarian assistance mission that benefited civilians living in the recently-liberated eastern region of Sri Lanka. The bilateral engagement took place from 3-10 September 2007. The USAF team, comprised of a four-person dental team and five-person medical team, worked side-by-side with medics representing the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as local civilian medical personnel. Over four days in Kappalthurai, Echilanpattu and Vakarai, the team treated more than 1,900 patients, addressing the health needs of a population recovering from the December 2004 tsunami and separatist conflict. The dental team completed over 200 extractions of non-viable teeth.

“The bilateral humanitarian assistance project was a significant collaboration that benefited many needy civilians in the East,” said U.S. Ambassador Robert O. Blake.

In addition to the humanitarian assistance, the mission included a two-day medical subject matter exchange. USAF medics conducted Self Aid Buddy Care training for more than 70 members of the Sri Lankan armed forces, and Sri Lanka military physicians shared their expertise and experience in managing snake bites and rabies. The USAF medics also gained valuable field experience in providing patient care under austere conditions.

The Office of Defense Cooperation in Colombo coordinated the mission with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense’ s Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid (OHDACA) program. The USAF team utilized or donated more than $30,000-worth of medications, medical supplies and equipment during the mission.


Chronology:
15.01.07  Unfolding misery
11.01.07  Vaharai tragedy
07.01.07  SOS from Vaharai

 

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