By Erickson Barnes
Middle East District
WINCHESTER, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District recently oversaw the completion of two health clinics in remote areas of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The clinics, located in Madaba and Shuna, were constructed to provide humanitarian health assistance to some of Jordan's rural residents who may have previously travelled great distances to receive medical care. Both facilities were completed on time and within the $1.28 million budget, all while maintaining excellent safety records with no accidents in approximately 60,000 work hours by the Jordanian contractor Hiba Engineering Establishment.
"These clinics could not have been completed without the effort, cooperation, support and coordination provided by all parties involved, including the Royal Medical Services, the contractor, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," said Salem Fares, the district's resident engineer in Jordan.
Each clinic -- approximately 920-square-meters each and designed to accommodate future expansion, if needed -- includes a lab, lobby area, pharmacy, X-ray room, offices, changing rooms and bathrooms, and obstetrics and gynecology facilities. They also house designated treatment areas for surgical procedures, pediatrics, ophthalmology, and dental care. Additional features were built in to house utilities and to provide for service and support personnel, such as the electrical room and supply storage rooms.
"The clinics are being well received," said Fares. "Throughout the life of these projects, many residents living near the construction sites would walk up and ask when the clinics were scheduled to be completed. They have shown their satisfaction with having state-of-the-art medical facilities and health care available closer to their communities."
"It is … the good deeds and great efforts of our friends from United States of America that make providing high-quality health services to underprivileged Jordanians in remote areas possible," said Maj. Gen. Abdelaziz Ziadat, director general of Jordan's Royal Medical Service, during a construction completion ceremony at the Shuna clinic. "I would specifically like to thank the Humanitarian Assistance Program of the U.S. Department of Defense for kindly donating funds for the construction of both centers, here and in Madaba."
Ziadat specifically thanked Fares for his "hard work in making this project a reality."
"It was very satisfying to hear the customer complement USACE on these facilities," said Fares, who went on to express his appreciation for the support his office received from the district's Egypt Area Office and headquarters staff here, specifically mentioning Tom Jackson, Christy Loy and Robert Strom.
The U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Program administers a variety of activities funded by the Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid appropriation. OHDACA supports the Secretary of Defense and combatant commanders' security cooperation strategies to build indigenous capabilities and cooperative relationships with allies, friends, and potential partners, according to a Department of Defense Security Cooperation Agency briefing. Established in 1986, this program is designed to assure friendly nations and allies of U.S. support, and provide basic humanitarian aid and services to populations in need. Objectives include averting humanitarian crises, promoting democratic development and regional stability, and minimizing the potential for crises to develop or escalate by providing early assistance.
"[The] Royal Medical Services faces significant long term challenges," said Ziadat, "[with] an increasing population, increasing burden of chronic diseases, rising costs of health care and growing public expectations."
"We hope these clinics will serve their purpose well, meeting the expectations and needs of the Jordanian people they were intended to assist," said Fares.
"I am sure our continuing cooperation will ensure a better relationship between our two countries," added Ziadat. "It is the vision of our leaders … to lead both nations toward more beneficial cooperation. I am sure this … will continue."