NEWS | March 9, 2012

JTF-B medics provide care to 370 in San Juan

By Capt. Candice Allen JTF-Bravo Public Affairs

The team from Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, saw more than 370 people on their first day here during the medical readiness and training exercise March 9.

This brings the total to more than 950 patients seen by the MEDRETE team over the past three days. The medical professionals treated illnesses including respiratory infections, skin infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.

"I saw a lot of rashes and skin infections today," said Air Force Capt. Eric Baroni, a Medical Element physician assistant. "It's about educating people to wash their hands which could break the cycle of the skin infections they have."

There was one particular patient that stood out to the physician assistant.

"I saw a seven-year-old girl with a confirmed case of neurocysticercosis," Baroni said.

Neurocysticercosis is a parasite that travels to the brain and causes seizures. Typically, the parasite is ingested from eating infected pork.

"Although she's scheduled to see a neurologist, we treated her with a 30-day supply of de-wormer and steroids," Baroni said. "This will assist her in the meantime and minimize the frequency of her seizures."

JTF-Bravo commander, Col. Ross Brown, and USAID Honduras Mission Director, William Brands, visited the site to thank the MEDRETE members and meet the San Juan villagers.

Members from JTF-Bravo's medical team collaborated with Mission Honduras LeMars, the Honduran military, South Dakota State University nutritional team and Honduran Ministry of Health to make this MEDRETE happen.

Mission Honduras LeMars, a non-governmental organization, provided dentists, pharmacists, and doctors to support the MEDRETE, while the SDSU medical team conducted a pediatric nutritional survey in homes within the surrounding areas here as well as created a nutrition station.

The MEDRETE team will continue providing medical services in the village of San Juan March 10.

The professional exchange between U.S. and Honduran doctors and nurses will allow for improved patient treatment and enhance the U.S., Honduran partnership.