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News | Feb. 20, 2024

LAMAT begins in Suriname for second year of medical assistance

12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)

The Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team mission is underway for a second year of health engagements across four nations, beginning in Suriname, 19 Feb.

Forty-two U.S. Air Force active duty and reserve personnel will work alongside Surinamese military and civilian medical counterparts over the next two weeks to assist in providing medical care, training, and education within the communities.

“We are excited to engage and learn from one another, while building the relationships so crucial to the future of our partnership,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Noll, troop commander.

This is the second year the LAMAT mission has visited Suriname. Selected patients have been identified in coordination with hospital medical directors and physicians under the guidance of Suriname’s Ministry of Health. Cases will be aligned with USAF member’s specialties spanning surgery, nursing, dental and family health.

Director of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Rakesh Gajadhar Sukul, spoke highly of the preparation that went into planning this year’s LAMAT mission, including taking the time to build upon relationships from last year’s success and determining the needs of hospitals and the communities they serve.

“We have to make priorities so that we can save as much life as possible and serve the community,” said Sukul.“I’m more than convinced that the work will be done very successfully.”

The medical assistance team brought approximately 10,000 pounds of supplies and equipment valued at $250,000. The supplies are meant to provide ongoing benefits to patients during the mission as well as after the conclusion of LAMAT.

“This is something that’s people-to-people, coming together to work on common challenges,” said Robert Faucher, U.S. Ambassador to Suriname. “I think the cooperation that we’ll see today and in the coming weeks will be evidence of the United States being a strong partner and a friend of Suriname.”

Further medical assistance teams under the LAMAT 2024 mission will travel to St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts and Nevis through March 29.

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