ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 25, 2015) — A U.S. Army science advisor traveled to Nigeria Sept. 16, 2015, along with a team of U.S. Department of Defense medical officials to evaluate laboratory operations.
Army Maj. Brian Hannah, science advisor from the Field Assistance in Science and Technology for the U.S. Africa Command, said his goal on the trip was to access the Nigerian military’s capacity “to respond to another infectious disease outbreak and develop a comprehensive plan to build capacity.”
Also on the team: Col. Steven Thomas, Deputy Commander Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; Col. Nelson Michael, Director US Military HIV Research Program; Navy Capt. Patrick Blair, executive officer for Naval Medical Research Unit 3; Robbie Nelson, Walter Reed Program-Nigeria Country Director; Lt. Col. Julie Ake, deputy director Military HIV Research Program; Col. Matt Hepburn, program manager Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; and Lt. Joe Diclaro, technical advisor for the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research.
“Our team engaged with our partners from the Nigerian Ministry of Defence Health Implementation Programme and toured the Defence Reference Laboratory (in Abuja), 445 Nigerian Air Force Hospital and Laboratory (in Lagos) and the 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Yaba,” Hannah said.
Hannah said he is developing a recommendation to AFRICOM for a health diplomacy package, which is currently in the draft stage.