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Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit Seven Supports the Africa Malaria Task Force in Ghana

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS170412-01
Release Date: 4/12/2017 7:31:00 AM

From Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit SEVEN, Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 7 announced a new collaborative global health effort with the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) April 10.

As part of that effort, NEPMU-7 successfully deployed their Preventive Medicine Officer (PMO) and senior Preventive Medicine Technician (PMT) to Ghana in support of the Africa Malaria Task Force (AMTF) Malaria Diagnostic Symposium, Feb. 25 - March 9.

AMTF is a tri-service effort that brings together military medical personnel from 15 countries across East and West Africa.

The symposium is a two-week knowledge exchange, conducted at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. Participants at this event included military clinicians , laboratory officers and technicians, and pharmacists from the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Rice, NEPMU-7 PMO and Chief Hospital Corpsman Daniel Hosaka, NEPMU-7 PMT served as facilitators for 35 military and military-affiliated participants from East and West African countries where the malaria burden remains high.

The overarching goals of the AMTF training events are to provide expertise to military medical representatives so they can return to their respective countries and disseminate knowledge via training and mentorship. These events are also intended to strengthen communication between laboratory technicians and clinicians to expand effective malaria programs in this region.

"Chief Hosaka and I are honored to have had been chosen to participate in such an incredibly valuable event, in support of AFRICOM's ongoing effort to reduce the burden of malaria in the region; and also for the opportunity to partner with such a skilled team of US DoD and Ghanaian experts," said Rice. "We were very encouraged by the class' interest in epidemiology, and the in-depth discussions that stemmed from the lectures. We look forward to furthering this Epi training and NEPMU-7's involvement with future AMTF events."

NEPMU-7 was hand-selected to provide additional training in the field of epidemiology in an effort to expand the AMTF focus to include malaria surveillance programs. Their training also provided the participants with valuable tools to combat a variety of other infectious diseases.

Hosaka and Rice delivered bilingual interactive trainings on topics of Basic epidemiology, descriptive and analytic epidemiology, study design, and infectious disease epidemiology, surveillance and outbreak investigations.

"It is nice to see all these African Nations come together in one place to better educate themselves on the diagnostics of malaria," said Hosaka. "With the knowledge gained during this symposium, the students can educate others in not just malaria diagnostics but basic fundamentals of epidemiology helping to combat not just malaria but any other disease they might come in contact with during an outbreak investigation."

Upon completion, graduates were provided with digital reference material and hard copy binders of all presentations, to facilitate training and quality assurance in their home countries. Additionally, graduates were awarded certificates of training completion, presented by Col. George Appenzeller, U.S. Air Force, USAFRICOM Command Surgeon.

NEMPU-7, located in Rota, Spain, provides theatre-wide preventive medicine support to Navy and Marine Corps forces and joint and combined military operations throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Whether it's a request for information or a request for forces, the team's highly skilled and trained professionals are always ready.

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