Kentucky shares medical expertise with Djibouti

Kentucky National Guard Staff Report

Maj. (Dr.) Nicholas O’Dell, Kentucky National Guard Medical Detachment (center) as well as Capt. (Dr.) Gregory Mathios (left) and Spc. Jacob Cevallos (right) with the Texas National Guard speak with Djiboutian military doctors during a hospital visit in Djibouti City, Feb. 19, 2018. The medical information exchange was part of Kentucky’s State Partnership Program with the African nation. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Stephanie Fields)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Members of the Kentucky National Guard Medical Detachment traveled to Djibouti Feb. 15-23 as part of Kentucky’s State Partnership Program with the African nation.

The Guardsmen met with Djiboutian medical personnel to share best practices for delivering and managing medical care to military members, their families and the community.

“I do believe our medical visits have had an impact on the delivery of healthcare with our Djibouti partners,” said Maj. Stephanie Fields. “During previous medical visits Kentucky offered recommendations that the hospital had adopted as standard procedures. I do believe that the medical professionals will have a positive, lasting impression as they progress in their careers, impacting care delivery for future patients.”

Providers and nurses from Kentucky and Texas National Guard and the Djiboutian Military compared and discussed effective process/protocols for diagnosis and treatment for providing patient care, nursing and general medical practices to include clinic administration. This was the first visit following the hospital gaining an ISO 9001, Tier III rating, a world-wide credentialing of quality management of care and service. Kentucky supported Djibouti’s efforts to gain this rating with a site assistance visit in March 2017.

“It was a great experience working with the local military doctors. They were very receptive to our ideas and seemed to appreciate our willingness to help them help their patients,” said Maj. (Dr.) Nicholas Odell. “While we were halfway around the world, many of the medical conditions and concerns they face are similar to the problems we face at home such as managing diabetes and treating sepsis.

It was very rewarding to use medical knowledge to continue building the relationship between Djibouti and the United States.”

The State Partnership Program between Djibouti and the Kentucky National Guard is designed to reinforce U.S. ties in the region and assist the Djibouti military to become a more professional force that can better partner with U.S. and allied armed forces through standardized military-to-military engagements with the Kentucky National Guard.