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Journal of Craniofacial Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31825b382d
Original Articles

Humanitarian Cleft Care in Southeast Asia: Military–Civilian Partnerships and the Role of the US Navy Ship Mercy

Lim, Alan A. MD*; Salas, Carlos DDS; Kumar, Anand R. MD

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Abstract

Abstract: The primary mission of the US Navy (USN) is to maintain superior naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas. However, a major core capability of the present-day USN includes the ability to effectively and rapidly provide humanitarian assistance and disaster response whenever the need arises. Occurring annually since 2006, Pacific Partnership is an ongoing USN operation that aims to strengthen regional alliances and improve delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. A major focus of Pacific Partnership 2010 was the delivery of medical care to underserved communities in the region. A significant portion of the medical mission was specifically directed toward the treatment of patients with cleft lip and palate. As the main operational platform, the USN Ship Mercy provided an unparalleled environment in which to provide state-of-the-art multidisciplinary treatment to patients with cleft lip and palate. With the cooperation of host nations and locally active nongovernmental organizations, a sustainable model for providing treatment for cleft lip and palate can be developed.

© 2012 Mutaz B. Habal, MD

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