02/19/2013 (press release: JaturontThan) // Royal Thai Army
The Medical Department in the Royal Thai Army has been an integral part of our service segment for over a hundred years, providing in-field and base medical treatments and training for both our military personnel and those citizens who require our help. Those who know this department only generally might have a few questions as to hat we do, where we go, and just who we help. Below you’ll find a few examples of what we’ve been doing lately:
This past May, we were honored to host the 22nd Annual Asia Pacific Medicine Conference. In commemoration of our encounters the previous year, the focus for this year’s conference was disease prevention and rescue and relief assistance to those who fall victims to natural disasters. PM and Army Chief Sasiprapa presided over the event, held in our capitol’s Amari Watergate Hotel. For this particular conference, members of the US Army shared hosting duties with us.
Our two armies have spent the last year studying and applying disease prevention techniques to a variety of potential health problems. The Conference was meant as an open forum for the exchange of rresources and ideas on the nature of pandemics and communicable diseases, from their potential spread to their containments and cures. We also head symposia on the specifics of effectively administering aid to victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, flood, and other major storms.
Brigadier General Keith Gallagher, America’s Pacific Region chief, went on record as saying that this professiona; international exchange was invaluable to the entire world’s understanding of key medical issues faced by the military.
This year’s theme was “Diversity is Our Strength.”
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and its eventual mutation, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were feared to have been an incurable plague in the last generation. While much progress has been made in some of the most advanced societies, these diseases still pose major public health threats with huge economic and social impacts worldwide. Thailand’s affliction with the diseases dates back to the beginning of of their appearances in 1984. Since that time, the total number of reported AIDS cases in our country was around 160,000 cases. While we have successfully reduced the number of new cases, the disease still poses a major threat and is being addressed with the utmost care.
The response to this terrible disease has been robust, and most of the groundbreaking work done to curb the spread o the disease was done by none other than the Royal Army Medical Department. Since 1987, the Medical Department has led the charge in AIDS prevention education to both military personnel and general civilians. Since 1989, we’ve had a sero-surveillance system (that is, blood testing) for all of our young men entering into our Corps. Considering that all of our young men are obligated to serve for at least a year, we’ve done a great job in detecting and, consequently, successfully treating, AIDS and HIV for years. As an after effect, we’ve been able to share the knowledge we’ve acquired with less-developed countries as they themselves grapple with this terrible disease.
We have been in a partnership with the Americans to find a cure for this dreaded disease since 1991. Most recently, our joint efforts have culminated in the devlopment of the HIV I vaccine, currently in phase 3 of its testing. As these tests progress, we get closer and closer to finding a cure that we can all share with the world.
More Joint Ventures
While the Medical Department is adequately equipped to handle a variety of medical emergencies and conditions under normal circumstances, the fact remains that the great Floods of last year left many of our citizens wanting for
access to urgent medical care. In response to this recent shortage, the United States Navy teamed up with the Royal Thai Army Medical Department’s dental division to provide more than 200 of our citizens with urgent medical care left
unavailable to them int he wake of the disaster.
The Royal Thai Army Medical Department is constantly educating our own staff and the public at large on the latest in medical trends, partnering with other governments to find constructive solutions to some of our most pressing medical issues.
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