U.S. MILITARY DOCTORS TO HELP PALAU TRACK TB

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Air Force physicians to develop electronic program

By Maripet L. Poso KOROR (Palau Horizon, Feb. 9, 2010) - AS part of their preventive medical program, two residents of US Air Force (USAF) School of Aerospace Medicine are in the country to help the Ministry of Health (MOH) develop an electronic program to better track down the progress of tuberculosis (TB) patients in Palau.

Drs. Allan J. Delos Santos and Gregory S. Hyland, both residents of Preventive Medicine from USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks City-Base, Texas, arrived in Palau last week and are working hand in hand with Minister of Health Stevenson Kuartei in reviewing medical records of TB patients.

"Right now we’re helping them track the number of patients with tuberculosis and prevent others from being sick," said Dr. Hyland.

"Instead of using papers and logbooks for records, we do it in the computer," explained Dr. Delos Santos. He said MOH already has the software, "And we’re not changing it," he added. "We’re just looking at ways to improve it. We look at what they have and see how we can help to develop and improve the program."

He said if they can help them help develop an electronic program for tracking the progress of tuberculosis patients in Palau, it will be more efficient for the MOH.

The two doctors are also looking into the relationship between tuberculosis and diabetes on the island. "We’re checking if there’s an increase of incidents of tuberculosis among diabetics," explained Dr. Delos Santos. But since they’ve only been here one week, they still don’t have the complete statistics.

According to Dr. Hyland, the program is funded by the US Air Force, and "residents take turns in coming to Palau to work on various projects with the MOH," he added.

"Every time residents come here, they do different programs," shared Dr. Delos Santos. "Somebody did a disaster preparedness program before; someone looked at waste management in Palau, that sort of thing."

The program is a win-win situation for both Palau and the US Air Force medical residents.

"Palau benefits from all their help, and the doctors get the experience," agreed President Johnson Toribiong.

The two doctors will be here until the end of the month, and new residents will arrive for another medical project.

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