To improve the quality of life for Salvadorans was the objective of the humanitarian exercise “Beyond The Horizons.” Since its beginning in March, several medical brigades have been executed throughout the country. The mission has benefited over 30 thousand Salvadorans.
The medical brigades have included a variety of services, such as vaccination campaigns, medical care for children and elderly, and dental hygiene. These services have been organized by US Southern Command troops together with Salvadoran Armed Forces.
The medical brigades’ staff is composed of 40 US soldiers in various medical fields, 16 Salvadoran doctors, 3 Colombian doctors, as well as staff from many NGOs in the areas of logistics. In addition, the brigades counted on the collaboration of interpreters from the Specialized Institute of Superior Education (IENS by its acronym in Spanish). On May 18th, Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte visited the medical brigade taking place in Joya de Cerén Public School, San Juan Opico, where she had the opportunity to see the work of the brigades first hand.
The medical brigades provided treatment to more than 13,049 people. The patients are seen by medical personnel, and as needed, are provided with the appropriate medicine at no cost. In addition to medical care, the brigades also have a veterinary program to treat and vaccinate cattle and domestic animals.
The effort to support the Salvadoran health care system is done not only through the medical brigades, but also with the San Juan Opico community clinic expansion that will be completed on June 10. At the clinic, eight Salvadoran soldiers are helping the US soldiers learn to adapt to the construction techniques and electrical systems of El Salvador. The clinic expansion will benefit the community members from San Juan Opico and the surrounding areas.
The construction of buildings in Estanzuelas (In Quezaltepeque), Nuevo Consumidero (Sitio del niño) and Dr. Arnulfo Castro (Chalchuapa) Public Schools is another of the engineering projects being carried out by “Beyond the Horizons.”
The US investment in the humanitarian exercise is $9.8 million, which will leave a lasting legacy of engineering projects, the contribution on the Salvadoran quality of life, and strengthened ties of cooperation between United States and El Salvador.