By Mr. George O'Brien Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Army, PacificApril 18, 2007
HUE, Vietnam (U.S. Army, Pacific, April 18, 2007) -- At first it was just a trickle of people, but soon a steady procession formed on the narrow, dusty roads of this ancient city. American medical personnel had arrived to treat the sick and provide basic services for the needy.
Soldiers and other servicemembers, as well as civilians treated more than 3,000 people here at the site of a very large battle during the Vietnam War. Among the 45 personnel were surgeons, physicians, preventive medicine and biomedical specialists, dentists, hygienists, nurses, civil engineers, and support personnel.
At Hue Central Hospital, joint U.S.-Vietnamese teams exchanged information on the latest medical and surgical techniques and performed operations that included open-heart surgery, knee replacement, and facial reconstruction for a woman disfigured during the Vietnam War. Additionally, temporary clinics were set up to provide care to underserved people in outlying areas.
The teams also partnered with local residents to improve living conditions in the villages. Personnel repaired classrooms and established water lines at two elementary schools. American and Vietnamese workers used hand tools to perform excavations and pour concrete in high heat and humidity.
The chairman of the Hue City People's Committee, Mr. Nguyen Van Ly, commended the teams for their work. He also expressed his appreciation for the donation of medicine, hospital supplies and equipment, books, clothing and school supplies to local hospitals and orphanages. The local governor expressed interest in initiating a state-to-state partnership with Hawaii.