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The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort pulls away from Canton Pier for a short notice humanitarian deployment to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The ship, with a crew of nearly 850 personnel including 550 U.S. Navy medical service members, will assist other U.S. Armed Forces elements, non-profit humanitarian organizations and search and rescue teams from around the world in bringing relief to Haitians displaced by the Jan. 12 earthquake. Comfort's Medical Treatment Facility has the capability to provide significant medical care through an emergency operating rooms, ward beds, a casualty reception area, pharmacy and intensive care area.
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Global Health Engagement

The U.S. military has a long standing history in international public health issues as a result of our responsibility to protect the health of our forces and to ensure that they are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Global health engagement is an important priority for the Military Health System. Our work:

  • Improves the health and safety of our warfighters,
  • Expands our medical readiness, 
  • Builds trust and deepens professional medical relationships around the world, and 
  • Advances U.S. national security objectives.

DOD recognizes that global health and security are linked, and our global health engagement efforts address the intersection of these concerns. In addition to ensuring force health protection and medical readiness, DOD global health engagement efforts also address other DOD and U.S. government priorities. These include:

  • Enhancing interoperability by helping partner nations build health capacity,
  • Combatting global health threats like emerging infectious diseases and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and
  • Supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief initiatives.
 

How the DOD Engages

 

Our Partners

 

Our History

 

Force Health Protection

Ensuring force health protection is one of DOD’s most critical priorities, and global health engagement is an essential part of that initiative. The U.S. military’s global reach means that our service members are affected by public health issues around the world. We have a responsibility to keep our forces medically ready and protected from all manner of global health threats, and this requires that we proactively engage these threats as comprehensively as possible.

Global Biosurveillance

 

Medical Research & Development

 

Preventive Medicine

 

Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability

Partner nation engagement, with the goal of building and supporting health system capabilities, is a critical element of global health engagement.

Mil-Mil Partnerships

 

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Humanitarian assistance and disaster response are core DOD capabilities, but they are always conducted in a supporting role to assist other U.S. Government agencies. DOD has the assets and experience to deploy necessary relief personnel and resources to all corners of the globe at a moment’s notice—there is no actor better prepared to respond in times of crisis.

Positive Impact of DOD's Efforts

 

Biological Threat Reduction Program

Threat reduction entails working with our international partners to improve their capacity to detect, diagnose, and respond to the presence of dangerous pathogens and other threats.

Cooperative Biological Engagement Program

 

Global Health Security Agenda

Global health security has never been more critical to the well-being of the United States and its citizens than it is right now. Infectious diseases spread more quickly than they ever have before, as evidenced by the Ebola, Zika, and bird flu outbreaks. New bacteria and viruses are emerging, and others are growing resistant to existing antibiotics.

Global Health Security Strategy

 

Global Health Security Agenda

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AUAB Medics Adapt to Support Afghanistan Evacuation

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Bringing Comfort 2018

The USNS Comfort is a state-of-the-art hospital ship, and it’s scheduled to deploy to Central and South America for Continuing Promise 2018.

The USNS Comfort is a state-of-the-art hospital ship, and it’s scheduled to deploy to Central and South America for Continuing Promise 2018.

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2018 Visit to U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery visits U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon and team to discuss the strategic context of global health in advancing shared security objectives with partner nations across the region.  The Department of Defense recognizes that Global Health Engagement activities play a key role to advance U.S. troop operational readiness, build interoperability, and enhance Security Cooperation.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery visits U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon and team to discuss the strategic context of global health in advancing shared security objectives with partner nations across the region. The Department of Defense recognizes that Global Health Engagement activities play a key role to ...

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2018 Medical Support Operations Conference

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats. “We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” stated McCaffery, emphasizing that global health security is an essential part of our national security. “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment," McCaffery said.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of ...

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Increasing Partner-Nation Capacity Through Global Health Engagement

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GHE operations, activities, and actions (OAA) are used to implement the Secretary of Defense Policy Guidance for DoD GHE and the U.S. Army Medicine 2017 Campaign Plan in direct support of the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) theater campaign plan (TCP) and U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) theater campaign support plan.

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Immunization Recommendations for Disaster Response Operations

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This information paper provides immunization recommendations and resources for Department of Defense (DOD) personnel supporting disaster response operations, both in CONUS and OCONUS.

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ENT Palau medical care

Anthony Tolisano, chief resident with the Tripler Army Medical Center's Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, inserts tubes into a child's ear drum to drain the fluid build-up in his ear. Tolisano was in Palau as part of a mission requested by the Palau Ministry of Health to provide specialty care to the people of the island nation. (U.S. Army photo by William Sallette)

Anthony Tolisano, chief resident with the Tripler Army Medical Center's Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, inserts tubes into a child's ear drum to drain the fluid build-up in his ear. Tolisano was in Palau as part of a mission requested by the Palau Ministry of Health to provide specialty care to the people of the island nation. (U.S. Army photo by William ...

Last Updated: October 30, 2023
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