By NMRC-Asia Public Affairs
Four medics from the Royal Cambodian Navy (RCN), stationed at Ream Naval Base, received extensive clinical laboratory training at U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit – Two Detachment Phnom Penh (NAMRU-2 PP).
Over the course of six months the medics gained valuable information and experience in clinical laboratory science. The training program was designed to boost the capabilities of RCN medics.
According to Maj. Gen. Prom Satharath, Ministry of National Defense, General Department of Logistics and Finance, Department of Health, Deputy Director, the intensive training is something all RNC medics need.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Dustin Harrison, a member of the training team and a microbiologist at NAMRU-2PP, the training included the basics such as bacteriology, parasitology, urinalysis, immunology, chemistry, hematology and QA/QC. The RNC medics received a wealth of information and, “for four guys who have had no real clinical laboratory training, they did remarkably well.”
Harrison added, “it was a true crash course in clinical lab science designed to strengthen the capabilities of our RCN partners.”
The capacity and capability building will be leveraged into other direct Mil-Mil collaborations, but for now the process has to begin somewhere. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is committed to helping NAMRU-2 PP achieve this goal.
After completing their training the medics returned to Ream Naval Base, to a new, fully-equipped laboratory created by NAMRU-2 PP to support the community of Sailors and their families that call Ream home.
NAMRU-2 PP will continue to mentor, support and track the progress of this clinic over the next several years. Additional projects with the Royal Cambodian Air Force (RCAF) and RCN include a surveillance project that is being expanded to provide coverage to over three quarters of the country and is focused on malaria, influenza and diarrhea.
Future malaria studies will assist the RCAF with efforts for malaria elimination in the country by 2025.
The U.S. Naval Medical Research Center – Asia (NMRC-A) is located in Singapore to work closely with distinguished Singaporean researchers with a focus on infectious disease research of mutual interests. Building on a legacy of nearly 70 years of research in the region, Navy Medicine’s global research and development efforts are focused on dedication, commitment and cooperation. NAMRU-2 PP is a detachment of NMRC-Asia.
NMRC-Asia supports U.S. interested in the Pacific theater. They conduct infectious diseases research, improve disease surveillance and outbreak response assistance for infectious diseases of critical public health importance to the U.S., and regional partners.