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NECE Engineman Ignites Force Health Protection in West Africa

16 October 2023

From Courtesy Story

The Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) successfully executed its Operational Pest Management Equipment Training (OPMET) for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in Accra, Ghana, July 12 – 14, 2023.The three-day long exercise, sponsored by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) global health engagement, introduced GAF members to skills needed to conduct pest
The Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE) successfully executed its Operational Pest Management Equipment Training (OPMET) for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in Accra, Ghana, July 12 – 14, 2023.

The three-day long exercise, sponsored by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) global health engagement, introduced GAF members to skills needed to conduct pest management surveillance as well as proper use, maintenance, troubleshooting, and field repair of pesticide application equipment for operational military forces. This event is critical to enhancing partner nation force health protection in resource limited and deployed environments and is taught by Navy Medicine’s only engineman.

“This experience was a great opportunity to share technical skills with a partner military we have continued to collaborate with,” said Engineman 1st Class Benfry Dejesus, equipment manager at NECE. “We hope that this engagement will augment local capability, capacity, and confidence working in the operational environment.”

The NECE team carried out a combination of presentations and hands-on demonstrations that were customized to the GAF’s equipment needs. A total of 13 participants representing all three branches of the GAF attended the training.



“One of the training's highlights was the practical exercises. These hands-on activities improved my confidence in my capacity to handle pest management challenges and mosquito surveillance, from identifying various forms of surveillance equipment to putting into practice suitable control strategies,” said Maj. Mohammed Abubakari of the Ghana Navy and Principal Public Health Officer at the Ghana Entomology Center of Excellence (GECE). “I have no doubt that the knowledge I got from this training will improve how I approach pest management, help GECE continue to exist, and promote good practices in the future.”

NECE’s longstanding relationship with GECE extends back to the founding of the center itself. NECE led a Global Health Engagement Research Initiative project to establish GECE as an entomology hub to support other partner nations that are a part of the Africa Malaria Task Force (AMTF), an initiative started in 2011 by USAFRICOM to improve Department of Defense uniformed partners’ fight against malaria.

“The NECE and GECE relationship is a great example of continuity of global health engagement that provides mutually beneficial outcomes,” said Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Diclaro, department head of NECE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Detachment. “Global health engagements are important to achieving AFRICOM’s strategic lines of effort and solidifying a joint maritime mission and strong partnerships in Africa.”

NECE is the Navy and Marine Corps’ Center of Excellence for operational entomology located at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL. NECE’s unique DoD mission is to develop and evaluate novel products, pesticides, and technologies to better protect deployed forces from vectors of disease. NECE also provides operational medical entomology and pest management training to DOD military and civilian personnel and is the program manager for all Navy shipboard pest management. NECE plays a key role in supporting national strategic interests though engagement and exchange with foreign health and military partners.

https://www.med.navy.mil/Navy-and-Marine-Corps-Force-Health-Protection-Command/Field-Activities/Navy-Entomology-Center-of-Excellence/
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