The Southern Command of the united States (SOUTHCOM), handed the keys to the new Unit of Community Health Familiar to the inhabitants of the municipality of Zacatecoluca, El Salvador, on July 27, 2018. The new unit will expand maternal and Child Health Services in the region. Infrastructure is the latest project in the military humanitarian aid exercise.
We delivered a project for the health of the people ahead of schedule. In a period of 90 days, the military of the united States, El Salvador and Peru, we have shown that we can do great work in [combination],” said the Colonel of the Army of the EE. UU. Israel Romero, Commander of the Combined Task Force “Hope ” of the humanitarian mission in El Salvador. “We have served the community; we sow for the next generation.
The construction of the new infrastructure began on May 31, 2018, at the side of the peripheral health unit (USP) Dr. Carlos Alberto Galeano. Since this unit was built, it has not been possible to expand and the demands grow every year, said Dr. Mauricio Linares, director of the USP. Today we have the opportunity to provide better attention at both preventive and curative levels, thanks to Southern Command.
The authorities of the Ministry of Health estimated that the project will benefit more than 23 000 patients from the municipalities of Zacatecoluca, San Juan Nonualco, San Rafael Obrajuelo, Santiago Nonualco and Tecocula. It was necessary to create the space because it will facilitate the continuity of the health reform that seeks to expand services for the population, said Dinora Virginia Chávez, coordinator of the basic Comprehensive Health System of the Ministry of health of El Salvador. We expect to care on average for 300 patients a day.
The USP is located on a flood-prone ravine. In 2016, the Ministry of Health carried out a series of renovations to prevent water currents from damaging the building: a vault was built, the sewage piping system was changed, patients were provided with toilets and new cubicles for administrative staff.
The new building has 10 modules for medical consultations, with clinical laboratory and pharmacy. ” Ultimately, the benefit is great, ” Dr. Linares added. “For example, we will now be able to care for patients with tuberculosis. We couldn’t do it before, we couldn’t provide full treatment.”
United for health
During the exercise beyond the horizon 2018 five medical Days of specialties such as pediatrics, gynaecology, dentistry, geriatrics and ophthalmology were developed. During each day, more than 1000 inhabitants from the canton of El Espino and the community of Cosme Spessotto, in the municipality of Zacatecoluca, as well as from the municipalities of San Luis Talpa and Olocuilta, were attended.
We had six rotations of physicians distributed in two clinics and two ambulances to the four locations,” said the Captain of the Army of the EE. UU. Sabrina King, officer in charge of the exercise Medical Task Force. “Our clinics provided treatments for women and children above all. We also provide pharmacy and nursing services. We were proud to have attended so many people who needed it.
The arrival of military doctors has been a relief for the people of the communities, who suffer from diseases without economic access to health services and medicines. I had serious problems in my teeth, I thought I would lose them all, said Juan Antonio Flores, a resident of the municipality of Zacatecoluca. The doctors have rescued my teeth, relieved me of great headaches that I suffered for a long time. I have No way to thank for this change in my life.
The health unit and the schools built are works that are for the benefit of the salvadoran population for many, many years,” said the Colonel of the Army of El Salvador, Ricardo Rodriguez, commander of the Task Force on The Peace. “It is the greatest legacy we can see when two armies come together to share with those who most need it.
Beyond the horizon 2018 in El Salvador, it provided medical assistance to poor people and carried out engineering works to strengthen local capacity for humanitarian response and disaster recovery. The exercise began on 31 May, lasted three months and facilitated the collaboration of more than 2000 Southern Army personnel in rotating groups of 500 military personnel.
Our military has gained valuable experience from civilian and military experts from El Salvador, with the assurance that both nations can respond quickly to support future humanitarian emergencies and civic relief efforts in the region, ” the U.S. Army Brigadier General stressed. UU. Ellen Clark, deputy and director of the Cell Partnerships the Army Reserve in the Southern Army of the EE. UU. “The exercise helped to strengthen our relationships and our ability to work together to respond to future disasters.
Non-governmental organizations in El Salvador and the United States UU. joined Beyond the Horizon 2018. Among them, they donated drugs to supply the new maternal and Child Care Unit, and help improve the services that will be provided from now on in the region.