Joint-military service members set up a four-day medical clinic in Yulu, Nicaragua Aug. 19-23 to provide remote medical care and education to the locals as part of Continuing Promise 2008.
“The medical needs here are the same as ours in America, but they are also different,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Uebelhoer, a medical officer currently embarked aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). “Patients in America can be treated for small problems right away through self-medication, but here they don’t have that option.”
The lack of common pharmaceuticals in the rural community is the root cause and potential cure for many of the chronic illnesses in places like Yulu.
“I have seen a lot of patients with Impetigo,” said Uebelhoer. “A simple antibiotic mixed with a proper diet would cure it within days normally, but because of the lack of treatment and nutrition it will take them much longer to heal.”
This brought volunteers to the next stage of empowering citizens of Yulu to live healthier lives, education about nutrition, diet and exercise.
Proper nutrition is very important when you want to stay healthy. The immune system will take much longer to fight off an illness if a person is malnourished or does not have proper hygiene.
When Kearsarge departs from Nicaragua they will move forward with the Continuing Promise mission to Panama, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
Kearsarge’s mission exemplifies the United States maritime strategy which emphasizes deploying forces to build confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interest.
Kearsarge is currently under the operational control of U.S. 4th Fleet.
U.S. 4th Fleet’s mission is to direct United States naval forces operating in the Caribbean, and Central and South American region and interact with partner nation navies to shape maritime environment.
The Continuing Promise Caribbean Phase is the second of two humanitarian and civil assistance deployments to the Southern Command area of focus for 2008. The first Continuing Promise deployment was conducted by USS Boxer (LHD 4) in the Pacific.
CP 2008 is a collaborative effort between the United States and partner militaries, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and partner-nation support organizations to build strong partnerships that can be called upon in the event of a regional situation requiring cooperative solutions.
Gina Wollman (NNS)