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AS HAITIANS take to the sea by the thousands in an attempt to gain refuge in the United States, US military medicine once again is being called upon to undertake an unusual mission.
By the end of this month, according to some projections, as many as 100000 persons may flee from the reported terrorism of Haitian army officials who ousted the elected president in a coup 34 months ago, from the widespread poverty in Haiti, or in response to the Clinton administration's refugee policy, which is viewed in some quarters as being more liberal than previously.
Perhaps 12 000 of these persons will be placed in temporary quarters on the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Beginning with the setting up of the 50-bed 6th Air Transportable Hospital from MacDill Air Force Base (AFB), Tampa, Fla, at Guantánamo Bay, US military medicine has been scrambling to meet the sudden
Gunby P. Military Medicine Undertakes Peacetime Mission, Aiding in Processing Those Fleeing From Haiti. JAMA. 1994;272(3):191-192. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520030029009