Rota Hospital Deploys To Uganda To Support MEDFLAG 02
. Rota Hospital Deploys To Uganda To Support MEDFLAG 02
By Lt. James Morris, Nurse Corps, and Lt. Gerardo Cruz, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Naval Hospital Rota, Spain
ROTA, Spain (NNS) — A medical support team from U.S. Naval Hospital Rota was in Uganda recently in as part of MEDFLAG 02, a joint (multi service), combined (multiple country) medical training and civic assistance exercise conducted annually by the U.S. European Command.
The exercise provides mobility training and operational experience for U.S. medical units.
The Rota team was supported by personnel from U.S. Naval Hospitals Naples and Sigonella, Italy, as well as the Naval Ambulatory Care Center, Newport, R.I.
In addition to Uganda, partner nations included: France, Netherlands, South Africa, Morocco, Rwanda, United Kingdom and Kenya.
The team conducted a three-phase exercise that lasted 14 days. Phases included training for mass casualties and disasters, humanitarian treatment and a simulated mass casualty exercise.
The Rota team was lead by Cmdr. John Clayton, Medical Corps. Lt. Gerry Cruz, Medical Service Corps, was the mass casualty team chief and coordinator for Navy medical participants.
Cruz coordinated the training of 140 host nation participants in disaster preparedness and held the first-ever mass casualty drill in the Soroti district of Uganda. The drill included members of the local police and fire departments, doctors, nurses, Red Cross personnel, Soroti Hospital staff and personnel from the Ugandans’ People Defense Forces (UPDF).
More than 3,000 men, women and children received medical care over a five-day period from specialty services including dental, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, emergency care, pediatrics and ophthalmology.
“As a pediatrician, I enjoyed working with the children the most,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Southwick, Medical Corps. “They literally welcomed us with open arms. The opportunity to work with Ugandan medical personnel was extremely valuable. I feel that we benefited from the experience and medical education as much, if not more, than the Ugandan people benefited from our health care.”
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