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Soldiers get ready to make a difference as they head to Kenya

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ARMY medics are flying to Kenya today to bring healthcare to people in remote areas.

Gosport-based 33 Field Hospital will spend a few weeks in Africa on a joint mission with the Kenyan medical services.

They will travel to remote areas to set up health outreach centres, bringing GP-level healthcare to those living nearby.

It is a different side of medical care to the unit’s last deployment, which saw it running the hospital in Camp Bastion until the end of last year.

Captain Matt Pincombe, 27, from Gosport, is one of the troop commanders heading off on the mission.

He said: ‘I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity.

‘As the British Army draws down out of Afghanistan it’s exercises like this that give us the chance to go out and deliver the medical care which we train for.’

The soldiers expect to see a range of different illnesses and up to 200 patients a day.

At the same time they will work with non-government organisations such as the Kenyan Red Cross to promote precautions against malaria and hand out things from contraceptives to toothbrushes. Working in Kenya gives the soldiers an opportunity to work in arduous conditions and test their training.

Capt Pincombe added: ‘Although they are medics they are soldiers as well and these are our core skills.’

Earlier this week, soldiers were put through a final test of their abilities at 33 Field Hospital’s base in Fort Blockhouse, Gosport.

They set up a replica of a health outreach centre at their base and simulated some of the cases they are likely to see in Kenya.

Captain John Prescott, 35, from Stokes Bay, said: ‘This is what I joined for.

‘We get to travel around Kenya and work with another nation as well as delivering healthcare and making a difference.’

 

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