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US, UK, Japan Begin Health Engagements in Yap for Pacific Partnership 2018

By Lt. Clyde Shavers, CTF73/DESRON 7 Public Affairs | | March 25, 2018

YAP, Federated States of Micronesia (NNS) – The Pacific Partnership 2018 medical team from the U.S., United Kingdom and Japan began the first of more than a dozen health engagements in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia at Nimgil Clinic and Yap Memorial Hospital, March 22-23.

More than 35 Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen from the three partner nations provided medical and dental care to nearly 60 patients at Nimgil Clinic and more than 100 patients at Yap Memorial Hospital. Dental care included tooth extractions and fillings, and medical care included health screenings, audiology screenings, prescription eye glasses, advanced nursing education, veterinary education and home pet care.

"I haven’t seen this many people at our [Nimgil] clinic before,” said Philip Ranganbay, community health center operations manager. “This was the first time some people listened to a brass band, and we are very appreciative of the support provided by the Pacific Partnership medical team."

The Pacific Fleet “Deep Six” brass band consisting of five U.S. Navy Sailors and a drummer from the Royal Australian Navy performed at both medical centers, providing musical entertainment for patients waiting to be seen by the medical staff.

The medical team at the Cooperative Health Engagement (CHE) at Yap Memorial Hospital included audiologists, veterinarians, primary care physicians, medical technicians, dentists, dental technicians and nurses.

"I conducted dental screenings for 30 patients,” said Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force 1st Lt. Shimoyama Daiji. “This is my first time in Yap, and I am enjoying the time interacting and helping the local people here on the island."

The Pacific Partnership 2018 team includes five staff members from the Japanese Air, Maritime and Ground Self-Defense Force, and a combat medical technician (CMT) and medical assistant petty officer from the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and Army, respectively.

The medical team provided health screenings to nearly 130 patients, dental care to over 70 patients and optometry support to over 60 patients. Health screenings included blood-glucose, vital signs and height-weight measurements as well as pediatric screenings.

"There are no optometrists on the island of Yap, and patients were asking when we were coming back” said Lt. Kaiser Sultaini, optometrist for Pacific Partnership 2018. “It was absolutely amazing to be able to help the community by providing prescription eye glasses."

"The medical engagements were collaborative and cooperative with host-nation medical professionals at the hospital,” said Cmdr. Jason Blitz, medical lead for Pacific Partnership 2018. “We worked side-by-side with the host nation nurses and technicians at every step.”

The U.S. and the Federated States of Micronesia continue a long history of friendship, having participated in the Pacific Partnership mission as host nation for five years with many Micronesia men and women having served or currently serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Since 2006, the Pacific Partnership mission has provided medical care to more than 300,000 patients, veterinary services to nearly 40,000 animals and completed nearly 200 engineering projects while building meaningful and close partnerships throughout the region.