Humanitarian military mission demonstrates Catholics working throughout world
By Laura V. Sausedo

.- Being Catholic can be translated into many different words and works. A military mission that was sent months ago to Central America proves exactly that.

Doctors and nurses assigned to the joint Continuing Promise 2010 (CP10) team treated patients and also exchanged information with local medical personnel.

“Hundreds of military people from different Canada and the U.S. went into these countries to perform surgical procedures as well as dental ones,” said Roger Sausedo, a parishioner of St. Thomas More Catholic Church and military anesthesiologist who participated in the mission.

The CP10 medical staff is comprised of accredited active and reserve personnel from the United States Armed Forces as well as doctors from Germany, Netherlands, France, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Paraguay. The medical personnel had surgical rooms aboard the ship, where patients in need of simple medical procedures such as hernias were flown by helicopter.

Another part of the mission was an expertise exchange.

“Colombia doctors loved my lecture series,” wrote Cmdr. Vivian Sersen, USN, a peri-operative clinical nurse specialist from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in an article for the CP10 web page, adding that the Nicaraguan experience covered everything from the registered nurse experience to general medicine doctor to a pediatrician to a neonatal specialist.

For the dental procedures, the medical staff improvised dental rooms that set in schools in which the patients formed lines in order to be attended to.

In total, the team brought medical, dental, veterinary and preventive medical care to three medical sites in the rural cities of Punta Pina, Palma Real and Chiriqui Mali. Engineers rebuilt a medical storage building and car port and installed a septic system and installed bat screens at the Silico Creek School.

Continuing Promise 2010 international partners consisted of people from Germany, Paraguay, Netherlands, Canada, Costa Rica, and Panama and civilian partners from Project Hope, Registered Nurses National Response, World Vets, the Grietens Group, Give-A-Kid-A-Back Pack and the U.S. Peace Corps.

“It was a great experience,” Sausedo said.

Printed with permission from Intermountain Catholic, newspaper for the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah.

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