Vets deliver care to Bougainville's animals
21 July 2015
Medical care delivered from specialists attached to Pacific Partnership 2015 has extended beyond people.
In Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, veterinary specialists have been attending to cattle raised in commercial situations as well as pigs, domestic cats and dogs.
World Vets International volunteer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Cynthia Hoobler is a civilian vet working alongside United States Army vets and technicians said that it’s a completely different environment working in third world conditions.
"This morning I conducted an operation in the back of a four wheel drive vehicle to neuter a tomcat and that included administering anaesthetic," she said.
Typically, veterinarians have taken to the road in Bougainville, sometimes travelling for hours over rough roads, visiting remote sites to deliver care to needy communities.
"We've also been flown in the USNS Mercy's helicopter to reach even more difficult areas," Cynthia said.
The annual United States led mission which offers humanitarian and civic assistance to remote south Pacific and Asian communities is well underway, having already visited Fiji and Papua New Guinea, with the Philippines and Vietnam still ahead in the mission.
In its tenth year, Pacific Partnership has provided real world medical care to a cumulative total of around 270,000 human patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals.
Members of the Australian Defence Force are participating in Pacific Partnership alongside regional military partners from the United States, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Fiji, Timor Leste and Singapore.
Through Pacific Partnership, Australia is enhancing our ability to improve military and civilian coordination among nations and organisations that share a common interest in maintaining a stable and secure Asia-Pacific.
Although Pacific Partnership is always a US Navy led mission, this year the command team has an Anzac touch, with Australia and New Zealand filling the significant roles of Deputy Mission Commander; Captain Brian Delamont (Royal Australian Navy) and Chief of Staff; Wing Commander Jennifer Atkinson (Royal New Zealand Air Force).