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Salvadoran, Uruguayan Peacekeepers Deploying to Africa Train on Ebola Precautions and Response

Salvadoran, Uruguayan Peacekeepers Deploying to Africa Train on Ebola Precautions and Response

By Dialogo
December 05, 2014




In an effort to support Salvadoran and Uruguayan peacekeeping operations (PKO) forces preparing to replace their counterparts in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the beginning of 2015, the U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Command Surgeon has reached out to the Defense Institute for Medical Operations (DIMO), to provide force members with a pre-deployment course on Ebola- precautions, recognition and response in El Salvador and Uruguay in early December.

“These training events resulted from an emerging SOUTHCOM requirement to increase our regional capability to prevent an outbreak of Ebola in the Western Hemisphere. The keys to preventing an outbreak and prevention are early detection, rapid response, and isolation/contact training... the DIMO Ebola prevention course will address all these areas,” said Colonel Rudolph Cachuela, SOUTHCOM’s Command Surgeon.

Even though DIMO is not normally involved in PKO training, they are doing so on this occasion at the request of SOUTHCOM’s Command Surgeon’s office due to the current unprecedented outbreak of the disease in West Africa. In order to do so, DIMO modified an existing course on infectious disease prevention to one specifically focused on Ebola so the Salvadoran and Uruguayan force members can be prepared. “Although the risk of our partner nation peacekeepers in Africa of getting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is low unless they come in direct contact with Ebola-infected patients, we (in coordination with our partner Ministry of Defense medical counterparts) determined that additional Ebola prevention training and response would minimize the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the Caribbean, Central and South American region,” explained Col. Cachuela.

DIMO is a dual service agency comprised of Air Force and Navy personnel committed to providing world-class, regionally focused healthcare education and training to partners around the world. They develop curricula to teach courses around the world emphasizing on building international healthcare bridges, disaster preparedness, communicable disease prevention and other current healthcare issues, providing a unique opportunity for the Air Force and Navy Medical Services to contribute to regional partners.

A DIMO team augmented by staff from the Command Surgeon’s office will run an initial edition of the course in El Salvador on December 2-3 and again on December 4-5 for PKO force members and medical personnel from Uruguay and El Salvador who will be responsible for the PKO forces during their deployment to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA. The team will then provide the course in Uruguay from December 8-9 to military healthcare workers and PKO forces preparing for their rotation to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO.

In addition to training the PKO forces, “the intent is to provide a ‘train-the-trainer’ course where they can go back to their countries and train other healthcare workers,” explained SOUTHCOM’s Command Surgeon, who was the architect of SOUTHCOM’s EVD medical response.

As part of the Salvadoran contingent heading to northern Mali in 2015, Salvadoran Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Melara participated in the course on December 2-3. “It is very important that we receive this training because of the location we are headed to. This course will train us on proper prevention measures, teach us on the evolution of the disease and remind us of the personal hygiene practices that we ourselves have to keep for better performance during our PKO operations once deployed,” he said.

According to information published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of November 28, there had been eight reported and confirmed cases (of which seven were laboratory confirmed and one resulted in a death) of Ebola in Mali. In contrast, on November 21, the World Health Organization declared the Democratic Republic of the Congo free of Ebola transmission after the country reached the mandatory 42-day mark since the last Ebola case tested negative twice and was discharged from a local hospital and no new cases have been detected. The outbreak in the Congo, however, was unrelated to the current outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

Under the motto of “Partners in international health,” the mission of the Command Surgeon’s office advocates enabling and synchronizing health engagement activities to enhance regional health preparedness and increase the medical capabilities of our partner nations’ military and security forces.

The office regularly develops and runs customized medical readiness courses such as the Tactical Combat Life Saver (TCLS) Course for combat medics in 2012, in which Salvadoran troops received training from Peruvian medics who had taken the course when the Command Surgeon’s office customized it to reinforce the front-line medical response capabilities of Peruvian military members deployed in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers valley region of south central Peru.

By using the train-the-trainer approach, the United States and its partner nations “pay it forward” by sharing the knowledge received, adopting the courses as their own by making them standard requirements in their military medical training curricula and that of those involved in PKO —as in the case of the current course on Ebola precautions, recognition and response— and passing it on to other interested partner nation’s militaries.



In an effort to support Salvadoran and Uruguayan peacekeeping operations (PKO) forces preparing to replace their counterparts in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the beginning of 2015, the U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Command Surgeon has reached out to the Defense Institute for Medical Operations (DIMO), to provide force members with a pre-deployment course on Ebola- precautions, recognition and response in El Salvador and Uruguay in early December.

“These training events resulted from an emerging SOUTHCOM requirement to increase our regional capability to prevent an outbreak of Ebola in the Western Hemisphere. The keys to preventing an outbreak and prevention are early detection, rapid response, and isolation/contact training... the DIMO Ebola prevention course will address all these areas,” said Colonel Rudolph Cachuela, SOUTHCOM’s Command Surgeon.

Even though DIMO is not normally involved in PKO training, they are doing so on this occasion at the request of SOUTHCOM’s Command Surgeon’s office due to the current unprecedented outbreak of the disease in West Africa. In order to do so, DIMO modified an existing course on infectious disease prevention to one specifically focused on Ebola so the Salvadoran and Uruguayan force members can be prepared. “Although the risk of our partner nation peacekeepers in Africa of getting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is low unless they come in direct contact with Ebola-infected patients, we (in coordination with our partner Ministry of Defense medical counterparts) determined that additional Ebola prevention training and response would minimize the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the Caribbean, Central and South American region,” explained Col. Cachuela.

DIMO is a dual service agency comprised of Air Force and Navy personnel committed to providing world-class, regionally focused healthcare education and training to partners around the world. They develop curricula to teach courses around the world emphasizing on building international healthcare bridges, disaster preparedness, communicable disease prevention and other current healthcare issues, providing a unique opportunity for the Air Force and Navy Medical Services to contribute to regional partners.

A DIMO team augmented by staff from the Command Surgeon’s office will run an initial edition of the course in El Salvador on December 2-3 and again on December 4-5 for PKO force members and medical personnel from Uruguay and El Salvador who will be responsible for the PKO forces during their deployment to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA. The team will then provide the course in Uruguay from December 8-9 to military healthcare workers and PKO forces preparing for their rotation to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO.

In addition to training the PKO forces, “the intent is to provide a ‘train-the-trainer’ course where they can go back to their countries and train other healthcare workers,” explained SOUTHCOM’s Command Surgeon, who was the architect of SOUTHCOM’s EVD medical response.

As part of the Salvadoran contingent heading to northern Mali in 2015, Salvadoran Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Melara participated in the course on December 2-3. “It is very important that we receive this training because of the location we are headed to. This course will train us on proper prevention measures, teach us on the evolution of the disease and remind us of the personal hygiene practices that we ourselves have to keep for better performance during our PKO operations once deployed,” he said.

According to information published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of November 28, there had been eight reported and confirmed cases (of which seven were laboratory confirmed and one resulted in a death) of Ebola in Mali. In contrast, on November 21, the World Health Organization declared the Democratic Republic of the Congo free of Ebola transmission after the country reached the mandatory 42-day mark since the last Ebola case tested negative twice and was discharged from a local hospital and no new cases have been detected. The outbreak in the Congo, however, was unrelated to the current outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

Under the motto of “Partners in international health,” the mission of the Command Surgeon’s office advocates enabling and synchronizing health engagement activities to enhance regional health preparedness and increase the medical capabilities of our partner nations’ military and security forces.

The office regularly develops and runs customized medical readiness courses such as the Tactical Combat Life Saver (TCLS) Course for combat medics in 2012, in which Salvadoran troops received training from Peruvian medics who had taken the course when the Command Surgeon’s office customized it to reinforce the front-line medical response capabilities of Peruvian military members deployed in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers valley region of south central Peru.

By using the train-the-trainer approach, the United States and its partner nations “pay it forward” by sharing the knowledge received, adopting the courses as their own by making them standard requirements in their military medical training curricula and that of those involved in PKO —as in the case of the current course on Ebola precautions, recognition and response— and passing it on to other interested partner nation’s militaries.
We shouldn't meddle in the lives of other people. You guys do what you want over there, but you have to do it right in order for it to be worth it later.
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