By U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Andrew Caya
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs
DJIBOUTI, Djibouti, Feb 14, 2012 — U.S. service members transferred two anesthesia machines from Camp Lemonnier’s Expeditionary Medical Facility to Peltier General Hospital in Djibouti, Djibouti, February 6, 2012.
The EMF upgraded their anesthesia capabilities, leaving the two machines as excess equipment. The excess machines were delivered to enhance Djiboutian medical care.
“It feels very nice to have the machines from Camp Lemonnier,” said Dr. Elias Said, Peltier General Hospital medical director. “Work can be done better and easier with them. They are smaller than the previous ones we have and can be easily (moved) from one room to another.”
“The hospital treats more than 2,000 emergency cases a year in five operating rooms; three which have the outdated machines,” Said stated. “Children will benefit from the equipment as the machines can be used in pediatric cases, unlike the older equipment,” he added.
The outdated anesthesia machines can be unsafe for patients, U.S. Navy Lieutenant (Doctor) Heather Yurka said. She said the newly-acquired machines are also more modern and increase patient safety during surgery.
Peltier General Hospital is a training hospital for the region, said Mark Mitchell, U.S. Agency for International Development Djibouti program officer. “Many doctors will be able to use these machines and train on them.”
Djiboutian citizens aren’t the only ones who work and train at Peltier General. Djiboutian and American medical staffs often exchange medical professional knowledge there.
Because of a 2008 cooperative agreement between Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa and Peltier General Hospital, Camp Lemonnier Expeditionary Medical Facility personnel enjoy a working relationship with the hospital.
Yurka stated that, under the agreement, she and EMF personnel exchange best practices with the hospital staff several times a week.
“We give surgical care to the individuals here,” Yurka said. “EMF personnel use this equipment here and train with the anesthesia techs and anesthesiologists on how to use and maintain the equipment. (The training) enables us to practice (medicine) the way we would in the United States.”