Camp Lemonnier EMF Lends a Helping Hand at Embassy Health Fair


Story Number: NNS100305-01Release Date: 3/5/2010 9:48:00 AM
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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Frank Montellano, Camp Lemonnier Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- U.S. military members from the Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ), along with non-government organizations and private Djiboutian businesses provided free educational and health assessment services to embassy staff during a health fair at the U.S. Embassy Feb. 25.

"We came out to increase awareness and understanding of many issues, especially on the basics such as blood type and diabetes, and also on diseases in the area -malaria, Dengue fever, and Yellow fever," said Lt. John Arce, who helped plan the health fair.

EMF personnel manned stations and provided services ranging from blood pressure readings and cancer screenings to blood typing and glucose checks. Cmdr. David Mater, the EMF's officer in charge, handed out disposable toothbrushes, answered questions, and provided educational materials on healthy hygiene practices. Additional EMF personnel manned educational stations on smoking cessation, diabetes, ergonomics and diseases.

Local Djiboutian medical professionals from Abdan Laboratory also offered their services to embassy staff. Raed Abdoul-Wakil Houssein, a medical biologist, and Mustafa Yousef, a phlebotomist, supplemented EMF personnel by providing an additional blood grouping station.

"This is a great one-stop medical shopping opportunity for me, and most of my colleagues I am sure," said Kanni Osman, a USAID employee. "It is not easy to find so many experts altogether."

The event was the second time the Embassy and the camp EMF teamed up to conduct a health fair. Esther Karaba, a nurse at the U.S. Embassy for more than 10 years, used her knowledge of the Djiboutian community and contacts at Camp Lemonnier to help coordinate the medical fair for the last two years.

Karaba's investment in the health of embassy staff does not end with these fairs. Any embassy staff member that was found to have a health issue or concern can be provided follow-on care on a case by case basis. Karaba arranges for providers such as the Djibouti Adventist Clinic, which checked eyes and teeth at the fair, to assist Embassy members in need. Last year, the Adventist Clinic found and treated several health issues, including diagnosis and treatment of a patient with cataracts.

Although the fair was open to anyone at the U.S. Embassy, Karaba stressed that her center of attention was on the local community.

"All embassy employees are welcome, but the focus is on Djiboutians," she said

Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, provides, operates and sustains superior service to support regional and combatant command requirements; and enables operations in the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-African nation relations.

For more information about the camp, visit http://www.cnic.navy.mil/cldj.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnre/.

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