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U.S., Vietnam talk infectious diseases during Pacific Angel 2010

  • Published
  • By Capt. Timothy Lundberg
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs Office
American military and Vietnamese health professionals conducted a forum about infectious disease prevention and control at the Can Tho Medical College during Operation Pacific Angel here May 11.

The forum allowed the experts in the field to share information about basic life support, infectious diseases and public health that improves how both countries provide medical care to those in need. The forum is in addition to the medical and civil engineering projects being conducted as part of Operation Pacific Angel, a joint and combined humanitarian assistance operation conducted in the Pacific area. The project is in support of U.S. Pacific Command's capacity-building efforts.

Capt. Katrina Martinez, an infection control officer from the 36th Medical Group at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and Dr. Phan Xuan, head of the Infection Control Department for the Southern Health Care Prevention Center in Ho Chi Minh City, led the discussion for 43 doctors, teachers and other medical professionals here.

"I'm very happy to work with Captain Martinez during Pacific Angel," said Dr. Phan "This is a great opportunity to work with our U.S. colleagues and it has been a great opportunity to get up-to-date knowledge on infectious diseases and helps us standardize the process of preventing infectious disease."

Captain Martinez was also impressed with the lecture and the knowledge of the health care professionals saying, "It was a great opportunity to interact with other health care professionals from a different country, it brought home how fortunate we are in the U.S. with our health care standard. The health care professionals here do a great job with the lack of resources that they have to treat and care for their patients."

One of the attendees, Tran Anh Khoa, an instructor of nursing at the Can Tho Medical College, enjoyed the conference a great deal stating that he was glad to gain knowledge that he can share with his students and that in the end the patient will be the person who will benefit the most from the lecture.

More than 50 U.S. military members traveled to Vietnam to join the Vietnamese military, non-governmental organizations and civil health and engineering personnel in medical and engineering efforts. The medical team is providing family practice, dental, optometry, pediatrics and women's health care to Can Tho area residents. Engineering efforts includes plumbing, electrical and structural work on two area medical clinics. This is the second deployment of Pacific Angel 2010 and is scheduled through May 15.