News: Airmen deliver medical equipment to Bishkek Children’s Cardiac Center
Story by Senior Airman Brett Clashman
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - Airmen of the Transit Center at Manas Theater Security Cooperation Humanitarian Assistance division delivered medical equipment to the Bishkek Children’s Cardiac Center, Kyrgyzstan, June 16, 2012. The medical equipment consisted of two heart perfusion machines and two ventilators.
Samaritan’s Purse, a non-government volunteer organization in the U.S., identified that the medical equipment was available after it was donated from the medical center at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office at the same installation.
After Samaritan’s Purse identified the equipment, the previous TSC Humanitarian Assistance division project officer deployed at the Transit Center was able to locate the medical equipment and start the process to get it shipped to the cardiac center.
“When I got to [the Transit Center at] Manas, my predecessor informed me that we had a machine in the U.S. awaiting transportation here,” said Capt. Holly Gebert, TSC Humanitarian Assistance division project officer. “I completed all the necessary paperwork and customs forms to ensure we could transport the equipment.”
The Denton Humanitarian Assistance Program is a U.S. Agency for International Development program that offers free transportation of humanitarian goods. The Department of Defense will approve a Denton shipment, issue the cargo a tracking number, package it to U.S. military procedures and deliver to a nearby base to await flight on a space-available basis.
The donated equipment will be utilized to increase the amount of heart surgeries conducted at the cardiac center.
“They have one perfusion machine in the entire country that works; it was built in 1980’s and its worn out. We just replaced it with two,” said Jim Carney, a retired U.S. Army National Guard master sergeant and active humanitarian in Kyrgyzstan. “They really needed this equipment, it’s much newer and it will definitely help them get the job done.”
Carney returned to Kyrgyzstan after spending numerous deployments here prior to retiring. He said he wanted to come back and continue to aid the citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Carney added that the cardiac center was able to perform only two heart surgeries a day but with the new equipment donated, they now have the capability to perform up to eight heart surgeries a day.
Humanitarian assistance and community partnership is one of the four mission sets of the Transit Center at Manas. Airmen actively contribute to a variety of projects and organizations in an effort to continue to build and strengthen the U.S. and Kyrgyz Republic partnership.