The Intersection of Health and Security: SOUTHCOM Perspectives on the Value of Global Health Engagement

first_imgBy U.S. Air Force Colonel Rudolph Cachuela, Command Surgeon, U.S. Southern Command December 05, 2016 Every year, infectious disease outbreaks continue to threaten health and security globally, emerging and spreading at unprecedented and continuously increasing rates. Infectious disease outbreaks impact the livelihoods of individuals, cause major disruptions to travel and productivity, and pose serious risks to citizens around the world and our U.S. Armed Forces, both at home and forward deployed. These global health threats also impact economic growth, stability, and ultimately the development potential of nations – all of whose complex interplay influences the overall security of countries and regions in which the United States has significant interests. At the highest levels, the U.S. government has reaffirmed that global health is a critical priority in achieving a peaceful, prosperous, and secure society – not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s a smart and strategic investment. Our National Security Strategy underscores the importance of global health security, recognizing that the spread of infectious diseases, and other global health threats, constitutes a growing risk and transcends political boundaries. The Global Health Security Agenda further demonstrates the United States’ commitment, representing a growing partnership devoted to increasing countries’ capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to endemic and emerging infectious disease threats. In close collaboration with the U.S. interagency, the Department of Defense plays an important role in combating global health threats as a matter of national security by building capacity in Partner Nation military health service support, force health protection, disaster preparedness and response, health surveillance, and medical research and development. At U.S. Southern Command, we recognize that direct support to the training and readiness of our partner nations yields dividends in fostering robust multinational support to coalition operations and reduces the risks to our own force. Through medical training and logistics support, sharing expertise and information, and advancing humanitarian and disaster relief capacity, we are strengthening partner nation military health systems, building capacity to help prevent, detect, and respond to disease threats, and enhancing regional capabilities in medical disaster preparedness and response. We do so recognizing that public health, force health protection, and full spectrum care are integral to maintaining the health and mission-capable status of partner nations’ forces – the same forces that uphold internal regional security, engage in international peacekeeping missions, and partner with us in the fight against transregional and transnational threat networks. The U.S. Southern Command’s health engagements are force multipliers in strengthening security capacity, resulting in great successes to date. For example, at the early stages of the Zika outbreak, the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit 6 established research sites in partnership with partners in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru to actively engage in subject matter expert exchanges, enhancing the region’s capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to the virus. As another example, in Colombia, we’ve worked to build medical expertise in areas like patient movement, resulting in increased confidence in expeditious access to the necessary level of military medical care, and we continue to support Colombia as they share their military medical expertise and capabilities with partner nations to advance regional security in Central and South America. While we have seen great value in utilizing Global Health Engagement as a strategic tool to achieve security objectives, much work remains. The complex health challenges we face go beyond geographical and political boundaries, and require a transregional synchronization of effort. We must continue to increase collaboration with other Combatant Commands to identify common goals, best practices, and shared approaches to improve the Department of Defense’s united response to combat transregional health issues. We must also revamp strong monitoring and evaluation systems in coordination with the interagency, partner nations, and other key stakeholders to ensure we continue to build on progress, and target and tailor our activities based on data-driven decision making. The U.S. Southern Command is committed to advancing national interests both at home and abroad. We strive to be the preferred security partner for the region; we continuously plan and prepare for crisis and contingency response; and we help keep the region stable and our nation secure by addressing transregional threat networks. Our ability to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks and other global health threats plays a critical role in defending our shared home of the Americas.last_img read more

Ethiopian Coffee, Snacks & Screening of ‘Lamb’ at Cinema Arts

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York H2 Empower, a non-profit organization, and the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington are collaborating on a one-time fundraiser this weekend that will include a film screening, traditional Ethiopian snacks and the opportunity to purchase authentic, handmade jewelry for a good cause.The event centers around the screening of Director Yared Zeleke’s debut film, Lamb, which appeared at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2015. The film follows a motherless boy sent away by his father to live with relatives in rural Ethiopia. Things take a turn when the boy’s uncle suggests his beloved sheep be sacrificed, forcing the boy to act in order to save the animal’s life. Lamb was the first Ethiopian film ever selected at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, according to CNN. In an interview with the news network when the film debuted, Zeleke said Ethiopia’s non-existent film industry makes it difficult for nascent filmmakers to get projects off theground.RELATED: Do This – Long Island Concert and Event Calendar, Jan. 5-11“There are so many difficulties facing young filmmakers in Ethiopia today,” he said. “There aren’t proper support systems in the country. We have to work on that, and I hope Lamb will open the minds and hearts of all Ethiopians to nurture real storytelling and cinema in this country.” While bringing much-needed attention to the film is one of H2 Empower’s goals, the non-profit is also continuing the work it’s been doing for more than a dozen years in struggling African nations. Proceeds will help the organization provide girls access to high-quality education. Included in the ticket price is a reception with Ethiopian coffee and snacks, handmade Ethiopian jewelry and scarves, plus a speaker as well as a fundraiser for education for girls in Ethiopia. Come and celebrate this phenomenal film and this magical land and culture! Lamb and Ethiopian coffee?! A no-brainer! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. $15-$20. 1:30 p.m. Jan. 8.last_img read more

Munster look to secure home Champions Cup quarter-final

first_imgRassie Erasmus’s side trounced the French team 32-7 earlier this month and are warm favourites to make it two wins from two.The game also sees Racing’s coach Ronan O’Gara make his return to Thomond Park where he spent 16 years as a player.Despite the home advantage, Munster scrum-half Conor Murray is expecting a greater challenge from Racing this time around. Kick-off in Limerick is at 5.30pm.last_img