Okinawa-based medical team home from Indonesia
June 17, 2006
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — About 102 Marines and sailors with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade’s medical team returned here Wednesday night after providing earthquake relief in Indonesia.
They were part of a team of 195 personnel dispatched to Java just after the May 27 earthquake that struck there.
An advance team returned Tuesday, and the final 30 servicemembers were expected by the end of the week.
During their 14-day deployment, the team set up primary, acute and emergency clinics and provided mobile medical teams for injured Indonesians who couldn’t get to the clinics, said the team’s spokesman, Marine 1st Lt. Eric Tausch.
The team treated 4,627 patients and delivered more than $1 million in relief supplies to the earthquake’s survivors.
More than 5,800 people died and an estimated 50,000 people were injured in the 6.3-magnitude quake.
The sailors and Marines from Okinawa were among the first to respond to the disaster with medical aid and supplies.
One of their major concerns was an outbreak of tetanus among the survivors, Tausch said.
Team members treated 14 active tetanus cases and administered another 2,031 tetanus vaccinations.