By Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson, 18th Medical Command (DS) Public Affairs – MALANG, Indonesia – In addition to joining clinics and assisting with local personnel that attend, a new process was added to the regular events of the six day multi-national Medical Readiness Training Exercise known as Tendon Valiant 2012 led by 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support), and US Army Pacific, Surgeon’s office and hosted by the Indonesian National Armed Forces – Tentara National Indonesia 18-23 June.
The twist was the idea of Col. Frank Newton, deputy surgeon, U. S. Army Pacific in which teams went door-to-door providing medical aid and conducting assessments for families in the same areas of the clinics in Malang Indonesia.
Dentists, nurses, physicians and other health providers from the United States, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga and Vietnam teamed up to aid families.
It has been a long, long time since her last exam replied Mrs. Sriutami, a villager in Malang. She mentioned she really liked being seen by the doctor, having an exam, getting medicine and would like to see health promotion classes for villagers.
“The teams were excited about going door-to-door,” said Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, U. S. Army Pacific Surgeon.
He mentioned that an active case of Tuberculosis was found and an elderly woman with a large goiter on her neck was given aid.
Gallagher went on the say that those cases would have never been found if the program wasn’t add.
Regular events of the exercise were also hits.
A Behavioral Health Seminar, Health Volunteer Seminar, and Medical First Responder course will help Indonesian National Armed Forces medical personnel and community health volunteers provide better aid to surrounding communities and assist in training other personnel to do the same.
“The work that you are doing on helping with health issues in your communities is so important,” said Rear Admiral Raquel Bono, Command Surgeon, U.S. Pacific Command, “From looking at infectious disease to looking at the things that are affecting other people in the community to include also behavioral and mental health.”
“We know in medicine how important it is for everyone to have health in many domains that includes not only the physical condition but mental, inner spiritual and the social well being,” said Bono. “So, I’m very grateful and I’m also impressed and encourage by the work and participation that all of you are showing here.”
Referring to the Medical First Responder course Dr. (Cpt.) Nursito, marine, Indonesian armed forces described it as great, awesome, and exactly what their armed forces needed.
Nursito described how each service in the TNI has different medical protocol and with the MFR course all three branches came together to go through the same course which will allow the services to communicate better.
When asked what the course could offer next time Nursito said, “More time, maybe two weeks would be better and adding a water environment for the navy and marine personnel.”
During the closing ceremony for the MFR course Bono told the participants that “this is a wonderful example of the collaboration and cooperation that we have with our countries and I think that the success that you’ve demonstrated as I was watching you this morning is a good sign that if you continue your work that you will also be equally successful in your teaching.”
“Thank you very much for letting us participate with you and to train with you,” said Col. Judith Bock, commander, 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support). “Remember that we make our mistakes while we’re training, so that we get it right when it counts. Thank you for welcoming us into your country and making new friendships.”