Navy Officer is Presented with Presidential Medal in Djibouti
By Darnell Gardner, US Naval Medical Research Unit No.3
DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti – During a ceremony at the Djiboutian Ministry of Health last month, Capt. Ken Earhart, Commanding Officer of U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (NAMRU-3) was presented the “Medaille de Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du 27 Juin."
Capt. Earhart was presented the decoration by the acting Head of State, Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita for his support of the Djiboutian Ministry of Health.
While under Earhart’s leadership, NAMRU-3 partnered with the Djiboutian Ministry of Health to conceptualize and train staff for its first ever National Institute of Public Health to carry out the diagnosis of potential epidemics and the follow-up of pathogenic agent resistance.
“In the name of the Djiboutian government, we would like to express our sincere thanks for NAMRU-3’s contributions. It provided outstanding support during a potential outbreak of avian influenza in April 2006, and cholera in January 2007. NAMRU-3 joined with our National Institute of Public Health to support public health capacity and provide much needed training to our laboratory technicians,” stated Prime Minister Dileita.
Also present in the contingent of U.S. and Djiboutian officials were the Minister of Health, His Excellency Abdallah Abdillahi Miguil, U.S. Ambassador James Swan, CJTF HOA Commander Rear Adm. Brian Losey, Camp Lemonnier Commanding Officer Captain Darius Banaji and the USAID/Djibouti representative Ms. Stephanie Funk.
The presidential medal, which in English is "the National Order of June 27” was established in commemoration of the Republic of Djibouti’s national day of independence in 1977. The medal recognizes the role Captain Earhart and the staff of NAMRU-3 have played in strengthening the public health infrastructure in Djibouti which is a part of the greater partnership between the US and Djibouti.