U.S. and Brazilian Medical Team Completes Amazon Humanitarian Mission

U.S. Air Force Maj. Joshua Shields, left, and Brazilian navy Lt. j.g. Guedes perform a patient evaluation during port visit in Sao Joao Batista, Brazil, Aug. 10, 2019.

Reposted from SOUTHCOM

Story by Lt. Lyndsi Gutierrez, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

Six U.S. military medical professionals deployed to Manaus, Brazil completed a 26-day Brazil Riverine humanitarian medical mission with their Brazilian navy counterparts to exchange medical expertise and to provide medical care to isolated communities along the Amazon River, Aug. 30.

Over the course of seven mission stops, the team provided medical care to 1,672 patients, encompassing 19,768 medical procedures.

Cmdr. Kristina St. Clair, U.S. Navy, summarizes the value of the mission.

“The U.S.-Brazil collaboration was a priceless experience; not only did our healthcare team participate in the delivery of superb medical care in an austere environment while learning about tropical medicine, this joint mission enhanced the invaluable relationship between our militaries” said Cmdr. Kristina St. Clair.

The U.S.-Brazil team worked in concert to provide acute and chronic disease management, preventive health services including mammography, minor skin procedures, and health promotion and education.

Maj. Mitchell Radigan, U.S. Air Force, commented on the benefits of deploying with the Brazilian navy.

“The mission afforded the opportunity to strengthen the U.S. and Brazilian relationship and to understand the challenges of their medical mission to provide care to geographically isolated communities living along the Amazon River,” said Radigan. “We were able to draw similarities between practicing high quality medicine in this resource limited environment with the capacity to provide the same level of care to U.S. service members in deployed settings.”

“Embarking aboard the Brazilian navy hospital ship allowed for a cultural immersion experience that facilitated sharing of ideas on medical care and military life as well as foreign language practice.”

The Brazilian Riverine Medical Mission is a joint effort between U.S. 4th Fleet and the Brazilian Navy’s Ninth Naval District, whose mission is to provide care to local populations, build medical interoperability in support of joint humanitarian and disaster relief missions, and exchange medical knowledge. This was the fourth mission of its type and further expanded the U.S. Navy’s tropical medicine training opportunities within the Amazon River basin.

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