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THIS YEAR'S meeting of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS)—which ended just over a week ago—was held in San Antonio, Tex. But the thoughts of many of those present, whether active ser-vice personnel, reservists, or retirees, were on Somalia, where US military medicine continues to cope with appalling and often dangerous conditions.
In addition to combat wounds, other injuries, and disease among US personnel, the US Army's 46th Combat Support Hospital/Medical Task Force 46 in the Somali capital of Mogadishu also provides some medical support for some of the other nations' United Nations (UN) peacekeeping troops and treats Somali civilians when circumstances dictate and permit.
Although there are a great many sources of disease in Somalia, US military medical people have encountered just one case of HIV infection among the patients seen to date. That was a Somali who underwent testing before US military physicians performed
Gunby P. Military Medicine Faces at Least 4 More Months of Supporting US, Other Peacekeepers in Somalia. JAMA. 1993;270(21):2531-2535. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510210017005