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USNS Mercy completes PP15 mission in Fiji

June 20, 2015 2:19 am

The US Naval Hospital Ship USNS Mercy has left our shores to continue its Pacific Partnership 2015 (PP15) mission.

For the two weeks it was in Fiji, the crews were working alongside Fijian military, government and health professionals treating thousands of patients, conducting public health engagements and constructing new school facilities.

Members of U.S. Navy, Australian, New Zealand, Japanese and Canadian forces as well as volunteers from non-government organizations (NGO) spent thirteen days providing medical, dental and surgical care, as well as conducting environmental health surveys.

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Navy Captain and Commander of PP15 Christopher Engdahl says public health exchanges were the highlight of their time in Fiji.

Hundreds of people turned at the cooperative heath engagements throughout the country, even encouraging those who felt they were beyond help to finally seek it.

Dr. Abdul Musheeb-Ibrahim of the Dreketi Health Center says about 50 percent of the patients who came to the community health engagement in Dreketi had never been to the local health cente.

Primary and subspecialty care providers, nurses, dieticians, physical therapists and audiologists saw 615 patients in Dreketi, 350 in Taveuni and 220 in Nabouwalu.

Surgeons on the ship also partnered with and worked alongside ten Fijian surgeons and six surgical nurses to perform 146 surgical procedures and care for more than 589 patients.

A combined U.S. Army, NGO and Fijian veterinary team also performed 200 de-sexing procedures on animals and discussed disaster preparedness implementation strategies for livestock.
De-sexing helps regulate the stray animal population and assists with controlling the temperament of animals used for farm work.

An engineering and construction team of U.S. Navy Seabees, Air Force REDHORSE, Marines, Japan Self Defense Force and Fijian military and civilians built two new classroom facilities for two local schools; one in Viani and one in Wailevu.

In addition, more than 300 Pacific Partnership personnel volunteered their off-duty time to assist with 63 community outreach projects, including playing basketball and rugby with the Fijian national teams.

A U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team also worked with the Fijian government to improve the nation’s disaster response capability and increase partner nation interoperability.
They also assisted with the delivery of more than eight tons of Project Handclasp donations across three islands.

The USNS Mercy’s next mission stop for PP15 is Papua New Guinea.

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