Lt. Cmdr Dustin J Harrison, PhD, U. S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Navy Surgeon General completed a visit to Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2 – Phnom Penh (NAMRU-2 PP), Cambodia, Feb. 26 -28.
Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, Navy Surgeon General and Chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery met with NAMRU-2 staff, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, William Todd, Lt. Gen. Kong Saly, director Health Department, Ministry of National Defense, the Cambodia Minister of Health, Mam Bunheng, and others to discuss current and future U.S. government public health partnerships.
Nathan was provided with a detailed overview of current partnerships, projects, and progress in capability and capacity building, and infectious disease surveillance efforts in Cambodia, some of which is lead by NAMRU-2 PP.
“The work being conducted here by U.S. and Cambodian researchers is not only important for the health of Americans and Cambodians, but everyone in this region,” said Nathan. “We do this not thinking of ourselves but it’s for that child, out in the province, that hasn’t been born yet that will grow up to live a happier, healthier, longer life,” said Nathan.
At a dinner reception hosted by Ambassador Todd, the Navy’s “top doc” got more opportunities to discuss the current state of military medical research and reiterated his full support for the continued success of the U.S. – Cambodian partnership.
“The visit of the Navy Surgeon General highlights the commitment of the U.S. government for health sector development in Cambodia,” said Todd.
Nathan also spent some time at a NAMRU-2 PP field study site in Kampong Cham Province, and was given a firsthand look at how subjects are enrolled and interviewed. NAMRU-2 PP field staff, led by Ms. Malen Ly, provided a tour of the village and a summary of the work being conducted in the province as well as life in rural Cambodia.
NAMRU-2 PP conducts research and surveillance of infectious diseases of military and public health importance in Southeast Asia. NAMRU-2 PP researchers partner with regional governments, international health organizations and U.S. government agencies to build capacity, detect, mitigate and control infectious disease.
U.S. Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.