Philippines: Pacific Partnership 2012 Service Members Set New Record

Service members and Sailors taking part in Pacific Partnership 2012’s (PP12) Medical Civic Action Project (MEDCAP) in Samar, Philippines set a new record by seeing more than 1,000 patients in a single day, June 30.

The record setting day was a result of combined effort between U.S., Philippine and Japanese service members and civilians, who worked in cooperation with each other to give medical attention to a multitude of local Filipinos.

When asked about the team’s achievement, Lt. Matthew Hitchcock, MECAP officer in charge said, “It is truly a testament to their work ethic and how hard they had to work to make this happen.”

Services provided by the MEDCAP included dental, optometry, pediatrics, adult care and minor surgeries.

“It’s been a wonderful experience, I think we are doing a lot of good here working with the host nation to help improve their heath infrastructure and also for us to learn about this region and this area in case something happens in the future,” said Hitchcock.

The multinational team overcame many challenges including heat, basic work conditions and language barriers to provide care for all of the patients.

We are all from different countries and have different nationalities, it’s great putting together everyone’s strengths and skills to learn from each other,” said Etsuko Narita, a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Nurse.

Now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is an annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance mission that brings together U.S. military personnel, host and partner nations, non-government organizations and international agencies to build stronger relationships and develop disaster response capabilities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Naval Today Staff, July 8, 2012; Image: U.S.Navy

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