Medical Engagements in Africa

The following blog is by Commander John Hardaway, force surgeon at Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa:

5 Aug 2010
I just arrived today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for military-to-military medical engagement planning meetings tomorrow. I flew in from Vicenza, Italy, where I attended the U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) Medical Research and Materiel/ USARAF Surgeons Conference. This conference was an outstanding event, organized by the U.S.ARAF Surgeon, Col. Alfonso Alarcon. Attendees included the U.S. AFRICOM Surgeon, the commanding officer of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the incoming and outgoing commanding officers of U.S. Army Medical Research Unit – Kenya, the chief of Distribution and Transportation of U.S. Army Medical and Materiel Center – Europe, and a number of other distinguished representatives from U.S. government medical programs in Africa. I had the privilege of delivering a presentation to the group on the mission and accomplishments of CJTF-HOA, with an emphasis on medical engagement projects. This was an excellent opportunity to educate our fellow U.S. government medical colleagues in Africa on CJTF-HOAs role in the area and will hopefully contribute to future collaboration. I also had the opportunity to meet individually with the USARAF Surgeon, the USARAF Medical Planner and the USARAF Veterinarian. There are a number of opportunities available for CJTF-HOA and USARAF to work together on medical engagements in East Africa.

6 Aug 2010
Today I had two meetings to discuss military-to-military medical engagements in Ethiopia. First, I met with Lt. Col. Duane Seward (CJTF-HOA Liaison to the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia) and Dr. Joe Malone, CDC resident advisor for the Presidents Malaria Initiative at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr. Malone explained his vision for an ongoing medical partnership between the U.S. military and Ethiopia, both at the military to military level and the military to civilian level. He sees the U.S. military as an excellent source of technical expertise that can be shared with Ethiopian medical professionals to enhance Ethiopias medical capacity and capability.

Lt. Col. Seward, Dr. Malone, and I then met with Dr. (Col.) Asefa Tsegaye and Dr. (Col.) Hagos Asmelash with the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) at the Ethiopian Armed Forces General Teaching Hospital in Addis Ababa. Col. Asefa and Col. Hagos both expressed their interest in establishing an ongoing partnership with the U.S. military. Specific areas of interest include: trauma management, preventive medicine, dental care and disease prevention, malaria prevention and treatment, and field water testing and purification/field sanitation. This was a very positive and productive meeting that provided a number of potential areas in which the U.S. military and ENDF can form medical partnerships. Lt. Col. Seward, Dr. Malone, and I came away from the meeting with new perspective on the needs of the ENDF medical system and with new ideas for how we can work together to build partnership with the ENDF.

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