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USS Tarawa and 11th MEU Provide Medical Aid to Bangladesh Residents

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071205-21
Release Date: 12/5/2007 6:08:00 PM


From USS Tarawa Public Affairs

USS TARAWA, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1) and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) provided medical aid on Dec. 4 in Bangladesh for those affected by the recent cyclone.

The medical assistance was Tarawa's first opportunity to provide help to the Bangladeshi people since arriving to the area the previous day.

"We saw patients with a wide range of ailments," said Lt. Jackie Jensen, a family physician from Fleet Surgical Team 3, temporarily attached to the Tarawa. "Many adults complained about aches and pains, skin problems and bronchitis. In children, we saw a lot of upper respiratory infections, ear infections and diarrhea."

To help ease suffering, Navy corpsmen and doctors provided personalized care to individuals ailing from cuts and bruises to diarrhea and acute eye care.

"It's great that we were able to be out in the field helping these people," said Hospital Corpsman Danish Shariff, a corpsman assigned to the 11th MEU. "It's very exciting that we're able to help."

The U.S Navy and Marine Corps brings a unique ability to reach isolated villages by means of helicopter transport.

"These people are very hopeful and are happy to be able to see doctors here in this remote location," said Bangladeshi Army Major Lokman. "It is psychologically uplifting that they came all the way from the United States to help us."

Humanitarian assistance by U.S. military forces was requested by the Bangladeshi government and is part of on-going relief efforts currently underway after Tropical Cyclone Sidr struck the country's southern coast Nov. 15.

The cyclone killed more than 3,000 people and left several hundred thousand homeless. The Department of Defense effort is part of a larger United States response coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development.

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