NEWS | Jan. 29, 2012

U.S., Honduran medics treat 400 Hondurans

By Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs Office

After traveling more than eight hours the day before members of the Joint Medical Readiness Training Exercise provided medical care to more than 400 San Jose Rio Tinto community members Jan. 29 here.

Members of the Joint MEDRETE included Honduran Ministry of Health, the Honduran military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The medical professionals treated illnesses including respiratory infection, skin infection, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.

All patients received a preventive medical briefing from a member of the Honduran military then received vitamins, inoculations and preventive health supplies before heading to the screening area for more care.

"Good preventive health education is a start to a healthier way of life," said Technical Sgt. Taron Blackman, a Medical Element member who is deployed from the Pentagon, Washington D.C. and is originally from Baton Rouge, La.

Once a patient receives his or her brief, they are seen by a nurse or medical technician for a health assessment.

"I think we make a big difference in these communities when we conduct a MEDRETE," said 2nd Lt. Sanny Djoeva, MEDEL nurse who is deployed from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas and is originally from Chicago, Ill. "For some this may be the first time they have received any kind of medical care which is why I try to give each one as much time as I can to get a full assessment of their medical health."

Once the screeners are done, the patients are sent to the medical care providers to receive treatment.

For Capt. Amanda Carnes, 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment flight doctor, the opportunity to participate in a MEDRETE gives her a glimpse into world health which is her passion.

"To provide medical to these patients is something I take very personal and I want to ensure that every patient I see while I'm here feels they've been taken care of to the best of our ability," the Woodinville, Wash., native said.

In fiscal year 11, Joint Task Force Bravo and Honduran Ministry of Health clinicians provided general medical care to 14,401 patients and dental care to 1,061 patients for a total of 15,462 Hondurans receiving much needed assistance. The Joint MEDRETE team will head to the town La Bacadia in the Olancho District Jan. 30 to continue medical services.