NEWS | Dec. 15, 2009

Medical mission concludes in flood-affected El Salvador; more than 1,300 treated

By Tech. Sgt. Mike Hammond Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

More than 1,300 residents of two communities affected by devastating flooding and mudslides received free medical care in El Salvador during a two-day Medical Civil Action Program (MEDCAP) Dec. 14-15, 2009.

The medical treatment was provided through a partnership between the government of El Salvador, the U.S. Embassy and Military Group in El Salvador, and U.S. Southern Command's Joint Task Force-Bravo, based at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras.

Severe flooding and mudslides in early November displaced hundreds and killed more than 100 residents of El Salvador. JTF-Bravo responded quickly, along with agencies of the Salvadoran government, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and non-governmental organizations. In addition to damage assessment, logistical transportation of relief supplies and other support, the team from JTF-Bravo combined with the Salvadoran Ministry of Health and conducted medical care operations from Nov. 21-24. Nearly 3,000 patients received care at that time.

This week's mission was an effort to ensure people in flood-affected communities received either initial or follow-up care -- as cleanup and rebuilding projects continue. The communities visited Dec. 14 - 15 were San Agustin, near Lake Ilotongo; and El Achiotal, in Southern El Salvador. Both were heavily damaged in the November floods.