Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Asia-Pacific Forces Discuss Military Medicine

Military medical representatives from the United States and 18 Asia-Pacific nations met at the 19th Annual Asia-Pacific Military Medicine Conference, which was held in Seoul, South Korea, April 6-10, to discuss collaboration.

The conference was co-hosted by U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) and the Republic of Korea Army (ROK), and focused on “Transforming Military Medicine Through Collaboration and Interoperability.”

Members of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) served as speakers, presenters and moderators at the conference, where medical professionals discussed ways to collaborate on solutions to problems like HIV/AIDS, infectious disease, preventive medicine, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and Avian Bird Flu. They participate in these types of conferences frequently throughout the course of a year, ultimately hoping to further enhance the ability of different nations in the region to work together on military medical issues.

This collaboration not only makes it easier for the different organizations to work together in real-world missions, but also helps build the medical capacity of the different countries. It also allows each country to gain a better understanding of their partners and their needs and abilities. Members of the PACOM Surgeon’s Office work to ensure they understand what type of viable assistance PACOM could provide to Asia-Pacific partners if it were needed.

While conferences provide an opportunity for discussion of collaboration, additional benefits are gained by working in each other’s facilities. Different nation’s can share information and resources, which provides an opportunity to learn from each other’s medical systems, issues, and challenges.

By working together on issues such as Avian Influenza, military medical forces can find common solutions to common problems, which benefits the entire Asia-Pacific region.

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