News: Pacific armies strengthen ties during medical conference in Bangkok
Story by Russell Dodson
BANGKOK, Thailand – The 22nd iteration of the Asia-Pacific Military Medicine Conference began in the Thai capital, April 30. Nearly 500 military medical professionals from over 40 nations are attending this year’s conference, which is co-hosted by the Royal Thai and the United States armies.
APMMC provides a forum for military health care providers to discuss topics, issues, and concerns of military medical significance with allied and friendly countries in the Asia Pacific region.
The conference theme this year is “Diversity is Our Strength: Regional Security through Collaboration.” APMMC runs from April 30-May 4.
“The APMMC is the single most beneficial, multilateral conference that we host here in the Pacific. The opportunity to bring professionals from around the Pacific as well as around the World together here in Bangkok enables each of us to gain a greater understanding of each others' strengths and challenges,” said Brig. Gen. Keith W. Gallagher, commander, Pacific Regional Medical Command, Tripler Army Medical Command and Command Surgeon, United States Army Pacific.
A large number of military medical topics are being discussed, such as influenza, HIV, emerging infectious diseases, malaria, preventive medicine, deployment health for peacekeeping operations and other contingency operations, military medical aid to civil agencies, health service support, combat medicine, triage and casualty evacuation, medical readiness, behavioral health, Wounded Warrior Care, medical technology, medical training, simulation training and research and medical interoperability.
Areas of special emphasis include nursing, veterinary medicine, and medic/non-commissioned officer development.
“Through discussion, adult learning and collegiality we learn and grow from the many professional presentations and posters and build a greater intellect and capacity that we return to our nations for further learning and implementation,” said Gallagher.
“The ability to put a name to a face and to have an email and a phone number means we can talk and write one another for years to come. We'll also know one another when we train together in exercises or in support of a humanitarian disaster,” he added.
Participants will also get hands-on with some of the latest medical technology thanks to a number of medical displays set up by civilian medical companies.
Nations attending include Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Comoros, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Marshall Islands, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste (East Timor), Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
World Health Organization representatives are also participating.
“The fact that this is the Army's 23rd in a row conference speaks volumes to its sustainability and continued growth. This conference ranks among the best in the world for bringing quality speakers, lessons learned about combat, humanitarian assistance operations, and the sharing of best practices in delivery healthcare in urban and remote areas will undoubtedly help mankind,” Gallagher concluded.