The Chiriqui Grande community in Panamá held a closing ceremony for Continuing Promise 2010 and expressed thanks for providing humanitarian civic assistance, the U.S. Southern Command reported.
Continuing Promise is a humanitarian mission on board the USS Iwo Jima providing medical, veterinary, engineering and community relations assistance to eight countries in four months. The Iwo Jima will provide humanitarian support to Guyana and Suriname before the ship returns to its homeport, Norfolk, Virgina.
“You are offering a great service to the people of Comarca Ngobe Bugle and Bocas del Toro,” said Jose Stonestreet, Comarca’s Minister of Health representative. “Continuing Promise 2010 was successfully carried out in our country and once again demonstrates the feeling of brotherhood that exists between our two countries.”
While in Panamá, military and civilian non-governmental organization personnel provided more than 5,000 patient services to rural residents within the Rambala and Boca del Toro area. Organizations include Project Hope, Give-A-Kid-A-Back, World Vets, the Registered Nurses Network, and a new one: The Peace Corps.
In total, the mission’s 52 physicians conducted 90 surgeries, of which were 49 low-risk surgeries conducted on board the ship, such as hernia operations during the 10-day port visit. The surgeries classified as low-risk, are conducted with the intent of having the highest impact on lives. The other 41 surgeries were out-patient treatments, such as mole removal. The roving U.S. Army veterinarians treated 6,432 animals and the 19 dentists provided 620 dental services to Panamanians.
Optometrists conducted 1,581 eye exams, gave 1,038 eyeglass prescriptions and overall provided 3,062 optometry services. Ancillary totals included over 10,431 prescriptions were provided and, 104 X-Rays conducted. In total, the mission treated over 6,800 patients in Panamá.
In total, the mission brought medical, dental, veterinary and preventive medical care to three medical sites to the rural cities of Punta Pina, Palma Real and Chiriqui Mali. Engineers rebuilt a medical storage building and car port and installed a septic system and installed bat screens at the Silico Creek School.
Also at the Silico Creek School, just down the road from the Punta Pina medical site, sailors supported community relations projects and set up playground equipment, painted the school and cleaned up the playground.