KUCHING, Malaysia -- Malaysian Armed Forces and local medical staff joined Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19) personnel deployed with the Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) in providing medical services to Kuching residents during a community health engagement at SK Tanah Puteh, March 31.
“We don’t get this opportunity often, to work side-by-side with international doctors and providers; learning from each other,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Phonthip Eadens, PP19 nursing planner aboard Fall River. “Learning from our host nation and our partner nations and increasing our capacity; that’s what Pacific Partnership is all about.”
The goal of the event was to strengthen bonds between U.S. and host nation personnel while helping each other offer medical consultations to the community. Learning from these engagements are essential for preparation to respond effectively to natural disaster crises in Malaysia and the Indo-Pacific region.
“The community turnout for today was well,” said Malaysian Army Col. Mohamed Zaki Mokhtar, Malaysian Armed Forces PP19 director. “These kinds of engagements are very important because they allow the medical personnel involved to share knowledge while serving the community.”
The team worked shoulder-to-shoulder to provide dental and medical services, pediatric care and physical health evaluations to community members. They also conducted courses on preventive treatment methods for rabies. Interaction and sharing expertise now improves the ability to respond effectively should a disaster strike.
Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year, the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific.