first_img In the town of La Macarena, 170 miles south of Bogotá, it is difficult to get residents medical services because the town is far from the nearest metropolitan center. Because of growing concerns for the people living in the town, the Colombian Military, with support from a group of U.S. Army Civil Affairs Soldiers and a Bogotá-based nongovernment medical organization called Patrulla Aérea Civil Colombiana (PAC) conducted a Surgical Civic Action Program on April 27-28, 2012. More than 1,000 Colombian citizens benefited during the two-day event. Colombian Soldiers provided security while doctors and medical staff from PAC, with the assistance of U.S. Soldiers from Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH), based at Homestead, Florida, provided free medical care and general surgery services. SOCSOUTH is the special operations component for U.S. Southern Command. Medical services included pediatrics, dermatology, general medicine, optometry, ophthalmology, dentistry and general surgery to remove or correct ailments such as hernias, cataracts and lipoma, a benign tumor. “We are here to bring solutions to some of the health problems in this community and show the people we care about them,” said 1st Lieutenant Diego Mauricio Quintero Franco, a Colombian Soldier who served as an operations officer during the event. More than 150 general surgeries were conducted by PAC medical volunteers. 1st Lt. Franco said more work needs to be done to provide services more consistently. “The relationship we have with the U.S. Military and Soldiers with U.S. Civil Affairs is tremendous, and we hope to continue this work,” said Franco. By Dialogo July 01, 2012last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *