The US Southern Command is participating in a regional conference that started on Wednesday on the island of San Pedro. While that conference is dealing with issues of security and illicit trafficking, today, one of its units known as the Medical Readiness Training Exercise Team headed north to the remote Village of San Roman in Orange Walk where it provided free medical care to hundreds of residents. For the US team, it was also a practical way to improve their medical skills.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Medical Readiness Training Exercise Team from the US Southern Command offered free medical attention to over two hundred residents of San Roman Village in the Orange Walk District today. The group also provided educational material on healthy living.

Sean Reiling

Sean Reiling, Member of MEDRETE Team

“Well in this corner we are doing preventative medicine so we teach a class on preventative medicine covers a bunch of different hygiene areas and then we hand out vitamins for the kids and the parents as well as soap, de-wormer as well as some chewable vitamins for the kids. We provide nutritional education as well as just personal hygiene and I think that what they will take away most is the nutritional, nutritional piece.”

Kelvin Jack

Through-out the day the physicians discovered a number of common illnesses.

Major Kelvin Jack, Nurse

“Most of the stuff that we’re getting is like elevated blood pressures, or hypertension, stuff like that. We are checking for blood glucose, we’re checking for diabetes and headaches or stuff like.”

Ricardo Avilez, Physician for Department of Defense

Ricardo Avilez

“We have seen umm the typical gastro intestinal and respiratory problems that most of the people have, but we have also seen persons that have high blood pressure, maybe who diabetics who have glaucoma which means that the increase of pressure inside your eyes. We have seen patients who’ve had for example dermatitis due to sun exposure, so all different things during the morning.”

The residents were also offered vaccinations while the women got pap smears and pre-natal checkups.

Maria Cho

Maria Cho, Rural Health Nurse, O.W Health Center

“Today we have pap smears and we have vaccination here in the child health clinic and prenatal check-ups. If they want the flu shot, we are still giving the flu shot here, and the tetanus for the babies, we are giving the polio, the pentavaliente, the MMR which is the measles mumps and ruviola and the flu shots also.”

The residents who may need follow-up treatment were referred to the Northern Regional Hospital. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

The clinic was provided in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.