By Lorena Baires/Diálogo May 17, 2019 Units of U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH) and the Salvadoran Armed Force (FAES, in Spanish), will work jointly to provide free specialized medical services to rural communities besieged by crime in El Salvador. The first Medical Readiness Training Exercise (MEDRETE), part of U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Together Forward initiative, took place March 25-April 8, 2019, in the coastal area of Conchagua municipality, La Unión department. The objective of the mission is to assist different Salvadoran populations twice a year for five years. “We thank SOUTHCOM for joining efforts to assist people with limited resources — many suffering from chronic diseases — and bringing them the medication they need,” said Honduran Army Colonel Juan Guardado, head of Civil Affairs for FAES General Staff. “This exercise will train personnel from both countries to offer medical assistance and health education to communities with limited resources in remote locations.” In Conchagua, which faces the Gulf of Fonseca, health services are limited and medical personnel lack specialization. “Most beneficiaries don’t have the financial means to go to a hospital or pay a private clinic and keep their conditions under control,” said Conchagua Mayor Jesús Medina. “That’s why we are grateful to SOUTHCOM and FAES. Our people received top-notch medical assistance, and even patients with serious chronic conditions were cared for.” The challenges The organizers installed a campsite at the Ministry of Health’s Family Health Community Unit to assist residents from Loma Larga, El Volcancillo, and Condadillo districts, as well as Valle Nuevo, Monares, San Ramón, and La Brea villages. About 7,200 people received medical care. “We had a common goal from the beginning: help the poorest in the country. That helped us work together,” said U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Héctor Nieves, ARSOUTH’s medical team coordinator. “Everyone had a partner from the other country, so we complemented each other with the knowledge we both had.” During the first days, the combined team conducted a general assessment of both medical and logistics needs. Some of the challenges to overcome were educational barriers and teaching people about hygiene habits to prevent illnesses. “As days passed, more people signed up for a medical checkup. They couldn’t believe that it was all free,” said Loyda Reyes, head of the Municipal Development Unit of Conchagua. “This serves as a pilot test to identify illnesses that exist in the area, so they can be treated every six months for five years.” Diagnoses Military specialists identified the main diseases in the area: respiratory tract infections, fungal infections, dermatitis, and bronchitis. “Some 40 percent of the population also suffers from urinary tract infections, due to low hydration and the high temperatures recorded in the village,” said Army Major Humberto Hernández, doctor and head of FAES Military Health Battalion. The team also identified chronic degenerative diseases such as high blood pressure, chronic gastritis, and diabetes. “The main issue is education, because people don’t know how to maintain a balanced diet or keep hygiene routines that would prevent illnesses or infections,” Sgt. Nieves said. “It was rewarding to assist people who hadn’t seen a doctor in more than a year and treat their illnesses.” Carlos Morales came from El Jagüey district with his youngest child. The boy had a strong fever, had stopped eating, and drank little water. The family tried to treat him with home remedies to no avail. “Doctors explained that the child had a severe ear infection. Hence the fever and headaches,” said Morales as he waited for medication. “I am relieved that a doctor examined my son, because we didn’t know what to do to ease his pain.” Military doctors, 15 from ARSOUTH and 25 from FAES, took part in Together Forward’s first mission. The second exercise will be held in August 2019 in Zacatecoluca municipality in the south. The military will continue to exchange experiences to offer joint humanitarian assistance to communities of hard-to-reach and disadvantaged areas.
Pro Temp Albert Chie– Nominees From MFDP, EPS, Commerce, LME, Youth & Sports, Others Confirmed YesterdayThe President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate yesterday disclosed that President George Weah has submitted 83 nominees for various posts in his government and that the Senate has so far confirmed 35.Senator Albert Chie, during his first briefing at his Capitol Building office yesterday, also disclosed that the Senate is receiving reports that some of the nominees are already ‘conducting the business of government’ without the approval of the Senate.“All those officials that were not confirmed are advised not to conduct the business of government either in their offices or outside of their offices,” he admonished.Speaking for the first time on the recent fracas involving some accredited journalists at the Legislature and the Sergeant-at-Arms, the Grand Kru County lawmaker said a team has been set up by the Press Union of Liberia and the Senate to find out what really happened, “and once we have received their report we will come back to you with the findings.”Pro Temp Chie informed the media that the Senate decided to use the Joint Chamber as its temporary seat for business and to also ensure effective communication among them as lawmakers and between them and the media.The Senate, according to Sen. Chie, is planning to hold its first retreat during the last week in March.The Pro Temp also confirmed that the Senate has received a letter from President Weah announcing the withdrawal of Justice Minister-designate Charles Gibson who, according to Executive Mansion sources, was already rejected by the Senate.He then clarified that the Senate did not make any recommendations in this regard to the President, but that on the contrary, the committee that conducted the hearing was still doing due diligence on the process when the President’s letter was received.Sen. Chie concluded his briefing by disclosing that there has been serious instances of theft of materials, including electrical wires and other important items, at the site of the construction of the two annexes to the Capitol Building, but assured that security has been beefed up through the contracting of a private security firm.Meanwhile several nominees yesterday received recommendations from separate committees for their confirmations, among them were Commerce Minister-designate Wilson Tarpeh; Lands, Mines, & Energy Minister-designate Gessler Elbert Murry; and D. Zeogar Wilson, Minister of Youth and Sports-designate. The Senate also completed the election of the Senate Secretariat and the Sergeant-at-Arms.In the method of nomination for a single candidate, the Senate thrice unanimously voted by the show of hands to retain J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, Secretary of the Senate; Genevieve Massaquoi, Assistant Secretary; and Brigadier General Toe Cheleh Toe, Sergeant-at-Arms, for the next six years.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)