Brandon Soldier Helps Employ Training During Medical Outreach Mission In Liberia

By Master Sgt. Brian Bahret

A team of Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) soldiers, U.S. service members and county health officials recently conducted a mobile medical outreach mission in Grand Cape Mount County.

The mobile mission, held in July, was a first for the AFL medics, who, until now, have been focusing their efforts on operating clinics on AFL bases to treat soldiers and their families.

During the AFL-led mission, the medical staff saw more than 2,000 residents in three villages, selected for their remote location and limited access to healthcare facilities.

“This is a big deal for the AFL,” said Brandon resident and U.S. Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Joshua Latham, Operation ONWARD LIBERTY (OOL) medical adviser deployed from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He said reaching this point has taken time; time the AFL soldiers needed to increase their skills.

“The medical outreach mission reinforced the AFL’s capabilities after years of training with U.S. service members deployed to Liberia with OOL”, said Latham.

OOL advisers have been mentoring the AFL since 2010.

“After achieving the skills required to operate a clinic, you can begin operations to serve other people, whether it be other nations or individuals within your nation that are in crisis or in need,” said Latham. “Now they’re beginning to start the outreach portion where they’re able to affect the community around them.”

In addition to 10 AFL soldiers, four OOL service members joined the team for logistic and medical support.

Samuel Davies said the medical outreach was the first he has seen as a seven-year resident of Gondor Town. Lacking the qualified support, the villagers were left to their own devices.

“The last time I had a serious issue with my stomach, I tried to treat it for four days – it got worse,” said Davies. He was forced to take a motorcycle taxi to the nearest clinic, a four-hour drive over a dirt road. “Most villagers can’t afford to take the trip,” he added.

Read more at http://www.dvidshub.net/news/110114/liberian-soldiers-employ-training-during-medical-outreach-mission#.UeAiM1z8JeU#ixzz2YqYwqw5h