Contact Us Press Releases AFRICOM Portal
U.S. Navy Brings Veterinary Care to Liberia
As part of a U.S. Navy visit to Liberia, American Army medical specialists teamed up with a volunteer emergency nurse from Project Hope to vaccinate local animals March 24, 2008, in Monrovia, a first step in what U.S. officials expect will become a
As part of a U.S. Navy visit to Liberia, American Army medical specialists teamed up with a volunteer emergency nurse from Project Hope to vaccinate local animals March 24, 2008, in Monrovia, a first step in what U.S. officials expect will become a wider program to inoculate Liberian animals against a range of diseases that also endanger humans.



Project Hope is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) working in conjunction with the U.S. Navy's African Partnership Station (APS) to bring medical supplies and services to West and Central African countries.



Over the course of the day, veterinary specialists Captain Brian Smith and Private Valerie McCants, along with Marley Gevanthor, an emergency room nurse from San Francisco General Hospital, administered more than 100 doses of the vaccine with another clinic scheduled for the following day.



"This project will only cover a small percentage of the population due to the limited number of doses," Smith said. "We are working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Health to arrange funding and assistance to broaden the rabies program here to allow for wider coverage of animals that will receive the rabies vaccine."



In addition to protecting against rabies, the vaccine also protects the animals from rhinovirus, respiratory virus, herpes virus, and intestinal virus. To further protect the pets and their owners, they were given de-worming medication which kills parasites that can be transferred to humans.



"It's wonderful to be able to take my skills and use them in a different discipline," said Gevanthor. "They're all little patients and we're helping to keep them healthy."



"I wish I could do more, Liberia has a large need, especially with rabies," added Smith. "Rabies is very prevalent in the dog population here, and I'm glad that I'm able to do a little bit to help, hopefully I can arrange to do more in the future."



Part of the U.S. Navy's Global Fleet Station, APS provides a platform with the capacity and persistent presence to support sustained, focused training and collaboration on a regional scale to maritime partners in West and Central Africa. Commander Task Force 365 and training teams from various U.S. and European military commands, as well as governmental and nongovernmental organizations are embarked on board Fort McHenry to enhance cooperative partnerships.
PARTNERSHIPS OPERATIONS READINESS