first_imgBy Dialogo June 11, 2009 6/8/2009 – KINGSTON, Jamaica — A specialized military medical team has formed an integral part of Operation Southern Partner by increasing the training and proficiency of partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of focus. Operation Southern Partner is a two-week 12th Air Force-led event providing intensive, subject matter exchanges with partner nation Air Forces in career fields identified by participants. The exchanges cover dozens of specialties interfacing with not only host-nation experts in Jamaica, but also Barbados, Guyana, St. Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Belize. The medical team is part of the Defense Institute for Medical Operations at Brooks City Base, Texas. Their mission – provide the highest quality of international medical education and training. Maj. Kimberly Reed, chief of DIMO’s clinical operations division, said the unit, comprised of about 20 people and established in 2002, is focused solely on assisting other countries in improving their level of medical care. Missions are closely choreographed, with specific specialties forming each team to ensure the right mix of subject matter experts is present for each mission. DIMO doesn’t have the personnel infrastructure in place to support the variety of missions it teaches, and must task other organizations to assist in accomplishing its mission, Reed said. “(We) task doctors, nurses and medical technicians from Wilford Hall Medical Center and other facilities to form the core of each team,” she said. “We provide whatever type of training a nation requests – from first responder to aeromedical evacuation.” The team, which arrived here Sunday following a five-day stay in Guyana, South America, will provide a contingent of Jamaican military doctors, nurses and medical technicians with first responder training. The training will focus not only on initial injury assessment, but also on what actions to take during a crisis, Reed said. “First responders are the initial people to see and evaluate a person after an injury,” Reed, who’s been a nurse for 13 years, said. “Whether it’s a person on the street, a paramedic, or a nurse at the door of the hospital, time is of the essence and could be a key factor regarding how successful follow-on treatment will be.” The specialized unit travels abroad to teach 19 medical courses and has two in-residence courses taught at its Brooks City Base location. Since its inception in 2002, DIMO has provided medical education and training to more than 4,500 students in 100 different countries.last_img read more

first_imgBy U.S. Embassy in Guatemala November 24, 2020 The United States provided humanitarian assistance to Guatemala in the aftermath of tropical storm Eta, serving approximately 310,000 Guatemalans in 25 communities affected by Tropical Storm Eta in nine departments (Quiché, Petén, Izabal, Zacapa, Chiquimula, Alta Verapaz, Jutiapa, El Progreso, and Santa Rosa). The assistance included 23 rescues, 39 evacuations, more than $363,000 in direct humanitarian aid as well as hundreds of thousands of pounds in food, water, and critical supplies (e.g., protective gear and hygiene kits). This aid was delivered by more than 59 flights by U.S. and Guatemalan helicopters to remote and isolated communities.Below are details of the assistance provided by the U.S. government:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) donated 2,000 pairs of gloves, 2,000 disposable medical gowns, 1,000 protective glasses, 2,850 surgical masks, 1,000 face shields, 350 waterproof aprons, and coordinated the donation of 120 gallons of alcohol gel/hand sanitizer from the University del Valle de Guatemala. CDC also translated and distributed guidelines for COVID-19 mitigation in emergency shelters.United States Agency for International Development The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) invested over $363,000 in humanitarian assistance, including food rations, shelters, first aid kits, utensils, and hygiene kits, for affected communities.Department of DefenseThe U.S. Department of Defense sent two helicopters from Joint Task Force Bravo (under U.S. Southern Command): an HH-60 Blackhawk for search and rescue, and a CH-47 Chinook, capable of carrying large volumes of cargo. These aircraft rescued 23 people, transferred six patients, re-located 39 persons, carried 30,900 pounds of USAID-assigned cargo, and carried 147,880 pounds of urgent life-saving rations (water, food, and other supplies).International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) of the U.S. Department of State provided pilots for UH-1 helicopters, which it donated to the Guatemalan National Civil Police (PNC, in Spanish) prior to the emergency, and provided technical assistance to Guatemalan National Police helicopters. INL cooperated with Guatemala’s Air Interdiction, Counternarcotics, and Counter-Terrorism Task Force (FIAAT, in Spanish) to fly 59 missions that transported 57,237 pounds of food and cargo to 25 communities.last_img read more

first_imgDear Editor,The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Sunday, the dates for elections in India. I have been invited to conduct opinion polls in India to determine support for parties. Election polling is restricted from a day before voting till the last hour of voting. Pollsters can release results up to the day before the voting commences and right after the voting ends.The ECI knows it must hold an election and, therefore, started making preparations for it – making sure every adult over 18 was on the list – some 900 million voters. In Guyana, we have just under half a million voters, and the election commission seems to have serious difficulty preparing for an election even though it knew since December 22 that it must be prepared to hold elections by March 19. The ECI Commissioners and staff are professionals and unlike in Guyana, they don’t favour any party. They are true professionals. The Chairman or Chief Election Officer in India is not a stooge of any party.There are some other major differences in how GECOM and ECI function. Unlike in Guyana with GECOM, the ECI is totally independent of Governmental influence. The India Government cannot direct Government on preparedness or when to call elections. ECI is perennially prepared for elections because when a Government collapses it must hold elections within a month. Elections are held five years from the last elections and the new Government is sworn in just over a week after the counting of ballots and official declaration of results. The new Government in India must be sworn in on June 4 as per the direction of the ECI.Unlike in Guyana, in India, when a Government loses a no-confidence vote, elections are immediately held. Also, unlike in Guyana, voting in India takes place over several days. In this year’s elections, voting will be done over seven days and would last just over a month. India’s elections are generally held over several phases in order to allow for the transfer of poll workers and security. Some 200,000 personnel are involved in the process. Some 100,000 security forces are totally under the control of ECI and follow their directives. Government cannot instruct the security forces.The important point of difference between India and Guyana on electoral matters is that unlike in Guyana, the ECI is totally independent, with its own budget and personnel and does not seek to rig elections in favour of a party. The ECI recruits its own staff with “politically minded people” blanked. Staff are permanently employed and must not have any affiliation with any party. Government cannot fix dates for elections although it can make suggestions. The ECI decides on dates for elections. The ECI is extremely powerful; it has its own security forces with the power to confiscate money of candidates or parties if the staff suspects the money would be used improperly like bribing voters. Once a Government loses a no-confidence vote, it cannot hold Cabinet meetings. An election date is fixed within six weeks. And once a date is set for elections, Government is prohibited from engaging in new policies and announcing new programs; new money cannot be spent. The election moral code of conduct comes into play. No party enjoys an advantage. The Government media is shared equally by all contesting forces unlike in Guyana where there is one-sided coverage.The ECI can sanction candidates and parties and can also fine them and confiscate their monies or freeze their bank accounts and discipline State media. With the issues having to do with GECOM’S preparedness for elections following the Government’s defeat in the no-confidence vote, perhaps Guyana can look to India for reforms of its elections commission to make it totally independent of the political forces.Yours truly,Dr Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more