Over 5000 residents of Kitgum district, in Northern Uganda, have received medical treatment from the six national armies currently undertaking a joint military exercise in the area.
Soldiers from Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and the US are participating in the ten-day multi-national, globally-resourced exercise focused on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and regional security.
“Soldiers offered healthcare services at clinics in Pajimo, Palabek-kal and Mucwini, small communities in Kitgum district – military doctors, nurses and technicians from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and the U.S. offered general medicine, dental, optometry, pharmacy services, counseling and health education services to patients ,” a release from the exercise’s Public Affairs office read.
“I’ve never received this treatment before. I’m now happy I’m getting treatment – I hope I will recover soon,” said John Kidega, one of the patients.
Capt. Theogene Rurangwa, a medical doctor in the Rwandan contingent, is quoted saying that all efforts are being made to treat as many people as possible.
“Though many patients wait for treatment, we are doing our best. We are seeing the most we can handle at this site – more than 700 cases a day,” said Rurangwa.
Apart from medical care, in Kampala and Entebbe, the senior military and civilian officials underwent a tabletop exercise to test their skills in a disaster relief scenario.
EAC military engineers joined U.S. Navy Seabees to renovate a high school dining hall and complete other construction projects for the people of Kitgum.
“The exercise offers a chance for African and U.S. militaries to work together and improve capabilities to respond to complex humanitarian emergencies. The 10-day exercise focuses on training and civic assistance,” reads the release.
NF 10 comes on the back of a similar joint field exercise that was conducted by EAC armies in Tanzania last month.