Skip to main content

Military Health System

Test of Sitewide Banner

This is a test of the sitewide banner capability. In the case of an emergency, site visitors would be able to visit the news page for addition information.

Eight nations participate in West African virtual pandemic exercise

Image of Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask looking at a laptop computer. U.S. Navy Cmdr. Helen Cann, senior medical officer, participates in a pandemic preparation and response virtual engagement in support of Exercise Obangame Express 2021, March 16, 2021. Obangame Express, conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is an at-sea maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea and West African coastal regions (Photo by: U.S. Navy Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Trey Fowler).

Medical experts from six African nations, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated in a Virtual Pandemic Preparation and Response Engagement on March 16, in support of Obangame Express 2021, the largest multinational maritime exercise in Western Africa.

The virtual medical event served as an opportunity for partner nations to discuss infectious disease surveillance and virus outbreak response. Participants included medical leaders from Nigeria, Senegal, Côte D'Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia, and Ghana, along with medical professionals from the U.S. Navy and United Kingdom. These experts exchanged lessons learned from previous epidemics in their respective countries, as well as the unprecedented worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

"The objective of the engagement, like Obangame Express 21, is to increase regional cooperation and interoperability. This event focused on how we can do that from a medical perspective." said U.S. Navy Lt. Amy Welkie, health security cooperation officer and the event's coordinator. "This allowed us to establish and build partnerships with our medical counterparts across the Gulf of Guinea."

Ghana Armed Forces Capt. Edward Nyarko, public health director at the 37th Military Hospital in Ghana, discussed the role Ghana Armed Forces' played in the national COVID-19 response. Nyarko credits his team's experience with previous outbreaks, such as the Ebola epidemic and prioritizing response workers' mental health for his team's many successes in saving lives in Ghana.

"All of us have one aim, and that is to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality, especially for disease outbreaks," Nyarko said. "NAMRU-3 has been one of our biggest supporters as they are embedded in [the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research]."

Nyarko emphasized the importance of prior multinational partnerships with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit-No. 3 (NAMRU-3), U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and others.

Through facilitated discussions, the event highlighted collaborations between militaries and local public health departments and the current goal of recovering previously infected military members.

Service members from the U.S. Navy and Royal Navy presented their experiences with outbreak responses in maritime environments.

"Outbreaks are the same whether you're in a maritime environment or a land environment," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brian Legendre, preventive medicine physician with the Navy Medical Corps. Legendre offered a number of strategies such as room ventilation, diagnostic testing, increased cleaning protocols, and isolation of sick patients as suggested tools for combating the spread of illnesses on ships.

Participants voiced their shared challenges during early pandemic response, which included shortages in personal protective equipment and limited accommodations for sick patients at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In cross-sharing the challenges and solutions, participants assisted each other in improving professional bio-surveillance methods, and refining other techniques learned throughout the pandemic.

"It's been fabulous interacting with everyone and seeing how people have sort of faced similar challenges and come up with similar solutions," said Lt. Col Dan Burns, British Army infectious diseases consultant. "It's been brilliant, and I feel like we've learned a lot from the dialogue."

Exercise Obangame Express 2021, sponsored by AFRICOM and conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea and West African nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.

You also may be interested in...

COVID-19 Vaccine Headed to NMC San Diego and NH Camp Pendleton

Article
12/15/2020
Gloved hands preparing vaccine for transportation

[T]he first doses of the vaccine will be given to frontline health care workers and first responders, including emergency medical services personnel, security forces, and other essential personnel.

Frontline health care workers among first in DOD for COVID-19 vaccine

Article
12/15/2020
Man getting vaccine

"This is a very important day, not just for the Department of Defense, but for our nation," Miller said before getting his vaccination.

National Guard and Reservists doing their part to fight COVID-19

Article
12/14/2020
Military personnel performing nasal swabs of people in a row of cars

“We can do a thousand tests in just a couple hours,” Keller said. It was an example of ingenuity taking place all over the country, with members of the Military Health System partnering with civilian hospitals and clinics.

COVID-19 Convalescent plasma collection continues

Article
12/14/2020
Three units of CCP laying on a table

CCP has a one-year shelf life, so collected units will begin to expire in 2021.

Hepburn: DOD role in Operation Warp Speed was ‘transformative’

Article
12/11/2020
Medical technician getting a syringe ready to give a vaccine

The FDA announced on Dec. 8 that its review of the Pfizer vaccine found it to be safe and efficacious.

Deputy defense secretary stresses team approach in battling COVID

Article
12/10/2020
Soldier wearing mask, standing at computer monitors in an office building

The Military Health System has played an important role implementing the National Defense Strategy, Norquist said.

DOD Officials Announce Distribution Plan for Initial COVID-19 Vaccine

Article
12/10/2020
Image of Mr. McCaffery speaking at a podium at the Pentagon

DOD is expected to receive around 44,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the initial phase.

MHS leaders discuss future of military medicine during AMSUS panel

Article
12/9/2020
Military personnel, wearing masks, standing in a line in front of flags

For Dingle, readiness is the key issue during the transition.

DOD Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

Article
12/9/2020
Soldier wearing mask, sitting in front of computer monitors

The Department prioritizes DOD personnel to receive the vaccine based on CDC guidance.

Malmstrom AFB airmen battle COVID-19, execute the mission

Article
12/8/2020
Soldier wearing protective gear leaning into a car to chat with other soldier

"The whole point of public health is to prevent any type of spread."

Pandemic underscores MHS’ need for reform, McCaffery tells AMSUS

Article
12/8/2020
Army soldier gets nose swab

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHS had embarked on reforms and initiatives to improve its medical support to the armed services.

Suicide Impacts Us All – But There Is Help!

Article
9/14/2020
Suicide Impacts Us All – But There Is Help!

September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

From Ghana to Washington, Sailor provides leadership during COVID-19

Article
9/10/2020
From Ghana to Washington, Sailor provides leadership during COVID-19

Acquiring supplies, in general, has been a hurdle worldwide.

WRAIR bids farewell to first all-female command team

Article
8/31/2020
Two soldiers, wearing masks, passing a flag

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, WRAIR dove headfirst into efforts to prevent, detect and treat SARS-CoV-2 with 22 research proposals and nearly $75 million dollars in funded projects.

Camp Zama veterinary medicine continues during COVID-19

Article
8/28/2020
Two veterinary personnel wearing masks examine a dog

[T]he facility’s team does everything possible to make patients feel comfortable.

Page 13 of 15 , showing items 181 - 195
First < ... 11 12 13 14 15 > Last 
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 28, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery