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LAMAT 2024 missions will travel to St Lucia, St Vincent, St Kitts-Nevis through March 29

THE CARIBBEAN – The Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team mission is underway for a second year of health engagements across four nations; Suriname, St Lucia, St Vincent, St Kitts and Nevis.

The Mision began in Suriname, 19 February 2024. Forty-two US Air Force active duty and reserve personnel will work alongside Surinamese military and civilian medical counterparts over the next two weeks to assist in providing medical care, training, and education within the communities.

“We are excited to engage and learn from one another, while building the relationships so crucial to the future of our partnership,” said US. Air Force Col. Robert Noll, troop commander.

This is the second year the LAMAT mission has visited Suriname. Selected patients have been identified in coordination with hospital medical directors and physicians under the guidance of Suriname’s ministry of health. Cases will be aligned with USAF member’s specialties spanning surgery, nursing, dental and family health.

Director of the ministry of health, Dr Rakesh Gajadhar Sukul, spoke highly of the preparation that went into planning this year’s LAMAT mission, including taking the time to build upon relationships from last year’s success and determining the needs of hospitals and the communities they serve.

“We have to make priorities so that we can save as much life as possible and serve the community,” said Sukul. “I’m more than convinced that the work will be done very successfully.”

The medical assistance team brought approximately 10,000 pounds of supplies and equipment valued at $250,000. The supplies are meant to provide ongoing benefits to patients during the mission as well as after the conclusion of LAMAT.

“This is something that’s people-to-people, coming together to work on common challenges,” said Robert Faucher, US ambassador to Suriname. “I think the cooperation that we’ll see today and in the coming weeks will be evidence of the United States being a strong partner and a friend of Suriname.”

LAMAT is scheduled to be in Saint Lucia from Monday, February 26 to Friday, March 8, 2024.

A team of two vascular surgeons, two registered nurse anaesthetists, two post-anaesthesia care unit nurses, one surgical nurse, two diabetic nurses and three surgical technicians from the LAMAT mission will be providing medical and surgical support.

The LAMAT team is providing medical and surgical equipment, medication and supplies to support the mission. Vascular Surgical Procedures will be carried out at the Owen King European Hospital (OKEU) during the mission.

“As a national initiative, patients from across the entire island will be receiving care. Surgical specialists from both the OKEU and the St Jude Hospital will be participating and working alongside the visiting specialists. Forty dialysis patients are estimated to receive vascular surgical care through the placement of fistulas to facilitate dialysis treatment. “Training to various levels of medical officers will be provided during the visit,” said the ministry of health in a press release, on Friday, February 23, 2024.   



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