Cameroon military train new sailors during a Lifesaver course, APS staff observes
By Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
DOUALA, Cameroon - Cameroonian navy sailors made history as they took part in a three-day combat lifesaver course at the region two military hospital in Doula, Cameroon, Mar. 19- 21.
This is the first course taught entirely by Cameroon military to their fellow service members, while members of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) medical training team observed, and is the second phase of a collaborative effort between the Cameroon military and APS.
“We want to have everyone in the military trained in at least the basic first aid skills. There are areas of the country where military personnel and civilians are dying from injuries that could be treated,” said Cameroonian Col. Abeng Mbozo’o, chief medical officer of the hospital. “This is the best way to achieve our goal; we will train each other like a chain reaction until everyone is trained.”
The lack of properly trained medical personnel in certain areas of Cameroon has inspired many to take action and make a positive impact.
“First, I lost my mother and I didn’t have the skills to be able to help her or anyone else,” said Chief Warrant Officer Maurice Tsafack, a nurse in the Cameroon army and instructor at the combat lifesaver course. “Now, I’m using everything I know to teach others so that even people in the most remote villages will have someone nearby that can help.”
The APS staff visited Douala last week to provide a refresher course for the instructors and their roles have shifted from teacher to mentor.
“They really haven’t needed much help from us at all. They are correcting each other and moving smoothly from one topic to the next,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st class Gustavo Maya-Perez. “As a Corpsman, it’s my job to help others but in this case, it is more rewarding to not be needed.”
APS is an international security cooperation initiative facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.