A closing ceremony has been held to climax the United States Medical Readiness Exercise (MEDREX) 22, an exchange program undertaken with the 37 Military Hospital on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at the Hospital’s Officers’ Mess in Accra.  

The aim of the exercise was to enhance cooperation between the two member countries and promote exchange of skills to improve lives and care for patients. In view of this, a colorful but short ceremony was held for the team to show appreciation for their immense contribution to the facility and the Ghana Armed Forces Medical Services (GAFMS). The thirty (30) member team made up of medical personnel, a photographer and corporate affairs personnel started the exercise with the hospital from June 6, 2022 –June 23 2022.

The annual Exercise is aimed at nurturing the relationship between the United States Armed Forces and the Ghana Armed Forces, especially the medical corps. During the near three-week stay in the facility, the medical team performed general surgery and attended to general cases on 650 patients with different health conditions at the various departments such as the Medical Emergency Unit, Trauma Surgical and Emergency Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Anesthesia, Maternity Theater, Main Theater and other departments of the hospital.

In his remarks, the Director-General Ghana Armed Forces Medical Services (GAFMS), Brig Gen Raymond Kwabena Ewusi stated that the Medical Readiness Exercise is one unique military exercise that provides medical assistance and free medical care to the host nation, fosters the relationship between the two countries and improves the standard of living as well as the exchange of knowledge. He added that the exercise should have started in the year 2020 but was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brig Gen Ewusi expressed that the scope of MEDREX activities undertaken at the Trauma and Surgical Emergency Unit (TSEU), Medical Emergency Unit (MEU), Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Operating Theatre have broaden their understanding of how medical treatments are extended to all who needed it and that, the aim of this year’s MEDREX was met in spite of logistical challenges.

He expressed his profound gratitude to the team for the United States Army for donating medical consumables worth $15,000.00 aside providing their own accommodation, transport and feeding as well as all the medical consumables needed for the clinical procedures.

The Commanding Officer (CO) of the 37 Military Hospital, Brig Gen Azumah Bugri stated that, although the medical partnership is good in the supreme interest of human survival, finding a good party for effective and efficient collaboration is a tall order. He added that this is why Ghana Armed Forces feels greatly honoured to part of the MEDREX. He further stated that the MEDREX has offered the military a perfect opportunity since 2013 to exchange ideas, learn new skills and develop partnership and friendship for their mutual benefit.

He stressed the need for stronger collaboration to deal with medical threats and said  the GAF is lucky to partner with the most sophisticated military in the world and to partner with a military that had adjusted to achieve good result with less support.

Southern European Tax force, Africa (SETAF) Surgeon (Italy), Col James Grady in his remarks expressed sincere gratitude to Ghana as a country and GAF for their generosity. He said that the 37 Military Hospital has been a partner for MEDREX for decades and allows members to exchange knowledge.

He added that just like football, medicine is a team based discipline and relies on partners for operational support. He noted that the two parties are striving to find their skills and develop knowledge that will help save lives in future. He said that the training will help combat national disaster should it occur in the future.

The Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of MEDREX 2022, Col Jannifar Gunney in her address thanked the 37 Military Hospital for partnership, corporation and allowing them access to their patients and theatres. She added that the team reached out to 650 patients and it was a fruitful experience. She further stated that the objective of the exercise to improve upon lives and care of patients was greatly met. The two parties exchanged gifts as a means of showing appreciation to each other.

Present at the occasion were the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of the facility Col Francisca Aba Amakyi, CNO Administration Col Rahinatu Alando, CNO Clinical Col Patience Owusu Aidoo, MEDREX Coordinator for SETAF Lt Col Smith, Security Coordinator at the US Embassy, Lt Col Michael Kumere, some senior staff of the GAFMS and personnel of the hospital.