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CJTF-HOA Partners with USAID to Distribute Medical Supplies

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071216-08
Release Date: 12/16/2007 5:38:00 PM


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mary Popejoy, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs

DJIBOUTI (NNS) -- Personnel from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's (CJTF-HOA) surgeon cell and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) visited Peltier Hospital Dec. 13 to deliver medical supplies and equipment in response to a recent cholera outbreak in Djibouti.

The supplies are excess military property that will help treat more than 1,000 people who are stricken with cholera and living in tent villages.

"This is a very poor country, and that is why donations like these are so important because even the smallest crisis can send this place upside down because there are not enough resources locally," said Janet Schulman, USAID representative to Djibouti.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but sometimes it can be severe. Approximately one in 20 infected persons has severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps. In these persons, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

With the lack of local resources to treat cholera effectively, M. Iwad Mohamed, Peltier Hospital director, is thankful for all of the supplies the military has donated.

"This is very good for us because it will help us treat those with cholera now and help us with outbreaks in the future," said Iwad Mohamed. "We are grateful for any assistance outside organizations can provide us."

And the U.S. military is honored to donate items that will have a deep impact on the energy and spirit of those that are sick.

"As an organization that has the capacity to help, we are more than happy to extend a hand and assist those stricken with cholera because we're here to help and this is one way we can make a difference," said Cmdr. Bobby Donovan, CJTF-HOA command surgeon.

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