The Hopital Militaire de Douala hosted a visit from Brig. Gen. Kenneth Moore, the U.S. Army Africa deputy commanding general and Army Reserve Engagement Cell chief, Feb. 8, 2017.
Moore was in Douala attending the final planning event for Unified Focus 2017, scheduled for April. UF17 is a tabletop exercise that brings the military partners of the Lake Chad basin area's Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) together to practice joint planning and coordination through a series of scripted vignettes.
The planning event took place next door to the military hospital and afforded an opportunity for U.S. personnel to visit the hospital that has received support over the years from both the U.S. military and nongovernmental organizations.
During an orientation to the hospital's history, Col. Abeng Mbozo'o, the chief of the Region 2 Military Clinic, told the story of a visit from U.S. military medical professionals during 2011. He escorted the team from Douala into other regions in Cameroon where they visited and worked alongside other military and civilian medical professionals.
"At first they saw diseases that were not common [in the U.S.]," said Abeng. "The local doctors didn't know, weren't familiar with them. They didn't know how to treat some of these."
The U.S. team shared treatment plans and techniques with the doctors, said Abeng.
"If you went there now, you would not see these afflictions," said Abeng.
U.S military medical professionals have visited the hospital several times since and U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalions, known as Seabees, have contributed to construction projects on the grounds.
Improvements to the facility are nonstop and just recently gravel was added to the ground surrounding the hospital buildings, adding drainage and reducing the breeding grounds of mosquitos that bring increased risk of contracting malaria.
Moore was introduced to the entire medical and clinical staff, including pediatricians, pathologists and radiologists. Military and civilian personnel work side by side throughout the hospital treating members of the Cameroonian military and the entire local civilian population.
The clinic provides full services to the local community and subsidizes those that need to stay overnight, said Abeng.
Before departing, Moore thanked the senior medical staff for both the tour of their facilities and for their hard work.
Thank you for what you do for your country and thank you for what you do for your people," Moore said.
"We continue to improve. Next time you come, it will be better because we are not going to stop," Abeng said.