US-Cambodian Humanitarian Mission Begins in Koh Kong

US airmen, Cambodian soldiers and local NGOs have kicked off Operation Pacific Angel 11-1, a week of humanitarian assistance in Koh Kong province that combines the efforts of soldiers from both countries and civilians.

The joint operation, which started Monday and ends Friday, aims to provide medical outreach to more than 4,000 Cambodians, as­sist with re­pairs to health clinics and schools, conduct malaria re­search, and exchange information on humanitarian matters, the US Embassy said in a statement on Tuesday.

Operation Pacific Angel will have a malaria research component, as US Air Force medical specialists work with Cambodian health ex­perts in Koh Kong province to trap species of mosquitoes known to carry malaria and dengue fever.

Data and samples of mosquitoes and larvae will be given to the Cambodian Ministry of Health, according to an article posted on the website of the Pacific Air For­ces, the Pacific command of the US Air Force. US airmen will also assist RCAF with improving airfield operations as part of a US effort to en­hance its ability to work with RCAF and within Cambodia.

The Air Force will also be “evaluating new surveillance and laboratory diagnostic technology, and techniques such as small USB microscopes and ‘dip-stick’ style field test kits to test for malaria and dengue pathogens in mosquitoes,” US Embassy spokesman Sean Mc­Intosh said.

Dr Mok Kimly, deputy director of Koh Kong province’s department of health, said that 20 Cam­bodian military doctors and nurses from Phnom Penh were also partici­­pating in the mission.

US Ambassador Carol Rodley said that the joint US-Cambodia exercise would enhance regional stability.

“The relationships that we will build and sustain through this exercise will ultimately help us preserve peace and stability in the region,” the ambassador said.


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