The U.S. Southern Command Continuing Promise 2018 (CP-18) team departed Honduras, March 26, after delivering humanitarian aid for the first mission stop of CP-18.
Service members, along with members of nongovernment organizations (NGO), provided medical assistance for local Hondurans at the Franklin D. Roosevelt School and in local hospitals throughout Puerto Cortes and San Pedro Sula.
“I want to thank the Governor, Operation Blessing, the Honduran Navy and the various government organizations to include the Franklin D. Roosevelt School and Martin Caraccioli, owner of property where our home has been while we have been here in Honduras,” said Commodore of Destroyer Squadron 40 Capt. Angel Cruz at the CP-18 closing ceremony.
This collaboration contributed to a CP-18 milestone of nearly 7,000 patients treated and over 40 surgeries performed at the Expeditionary Medical Unit.
In addition, multiple trainings occurred between the Honduran general surgeons, gynecologists and anesthesiologists and the Continuing Promise surgical team at the Dr. Mario Catarino Rivas North-Western National Hospital. The subject matter expert exchanges included observing surgical procedures in the operating rooms and the clinical pre-operative areas.
“Many lives were changed during our time here in Honduras,” said Cruz, a native of Miami, Florida. “The impact goes both ways, as my life and the lives of my Sailors and Soldiers have changed for the better. We hope these friendships will continue to grow and bear much fruit that will benefit both our countries.”
Furthermore, the CP-18 U.S. Army veterinarians and veterinary technicians provided services to 995 animals, including vitamin treatments, rabies vaccinations and 80 surgeries.
U.S. Fleet Forces Band had 18 engagements at schools, hospitals and other venues, while communicating through music and boosting morale. In addition, three community relations projects were completed further assisting the people of Puerto Cortes.
Also, the Forward Deployed Preventive Medicine team and medical subject experts worked in conjunction with local hospitals to include medical providers, nurses, bio-medical technicians and preventive medicine technicians. During the partnership exchanges, more than 120 topics were covered in over 375 hours including infection control, community health, dentistry, women’s health and disaster preparedness.
“We could not have done our mission without our Honduran partners assistance,” Cruz continued. “By working together, we were able to exceed previous records in healthcare and subject matter expert exchanges.”
MC2 Kayla Cosby