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JIKO, Iraq (August 30, 2008) – Navy Lt. Mickey Deel, the medical officer with Task Force 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, listens to an Iraq boy’s lungs during a combined medical engagement (CME) Aug. 30. The Tri-Cities City Council hosted the event with support and assistance from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraq Army Division, Iraq Police and Marines with Mobile Assault Company, 1st Bn., 2nd Marines. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt

City council takes action, completes tri-cities medical engagement

30 Aug 2008 | Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt

Local city council leaders successfully planned and executed a combined medical engagement at the Jiko Medical Clinic to provide medical care to the people of Jiko, Mukalan and Sattack Aug. 30.

Almost 400 Iraqi citizens received care from Capt. Kadhim Ali Kadhim, the battalion surgeon with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraq Army Division, and doctors and corpsmen with Mobile Assault Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, and an Iraqi Women’s Engagement Team from Marine Wing Support Squadron 374.

Iraqi women were searched by female Marines, and seen by female corpsman and doctors in order to respect the cultural integrity of the community.

City council members were pleased with the event’s success. “This has been the largest Iraqi-lead event in the area,” said Mohammed Hussein, Jiko’s medical nurse and member of the Tri-Cities City Council.

Hussein added that it is important that the community sees the city council is able to provide its people with the essential services they need.

“Providing treatment for the people is important, but the real critical patients are the children,” explained Kadhim. “If we find health problems in the children we can treat it early so eventually the problem does not keep reoccurring.”

Medical personnel treated Iraqis for a wide variety of ailments ranging from minor sinus irritation to severe skin rashes.

Kadhim added that with the sustainability of medical and humanitarian care Iraq can now provide, communities will soon see an increase in health and availability of families able to obtain essential medical services.

Local Iraqi Police and soldiers handed out food and water to citizens and brought joy to the children with toys and school supplies. 

The region’s current success is a direct result of the hard work and sacrifices made by the Tri-Cities City Council, said Lance Cpl. Alexander Kurtz, a 20-year-old scout with Mobile Assault Company.

While Marines were there providing over-watch, “The Iraqi Army and Police were out in force doing most of the work,” explained the Oak Island, N.C., native.

From the vehicle checkpoint to the clinic, Iraqi soldiers and policemen manned observation and security posts, denying possible insurgents the ability to exploit any gap in security they provided for the large event. Iraqis also organized an efficient procedure for filtering patients in and out of the medical clinic.

The CME provided a solid foundation for future Iraqi engagements with or without Marine support.

“Marines have gotten us to this point,” Hussein stated. “Now, we are capable of dealing with issues in the area and the citizens know they can rely on us.”

Unsurprised that no hostile acts were attempted by insurgents, Hussein said this proves there has been a significant improvement in the Tri-Cities region. He attributed this success to the hard work by the Iraqi Army and Police with the support of U.S. Marines.