MORE than 700 people, including dependents of Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel, have benefited from a one-day health fair jointly held by American and Filipino troops in Zamboanga City.

Lieutenant Commander John Perkins, deputy public affairs officer of the US Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), said the one-day health fair held last Tuesday in the village of Sta. Maria was part of the series of events in line with the 3rd Air Division 26th founding anniversary in April 7.

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The health fair was also aimed to reach out the villages and a way to further the PAF’s mission of providing a safe community in Mindanao.

Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Ventura, Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB) hospital chief, said the health fair was in-line with the mission of the PAF’s peace efforts.

“We provide community service in terms of reassuring the community of our dedication to bring peace and prosperity to all parts of the Philippines,” Ventura said.

The 3rd Air Division medical staff, teamed up with 10 villages and the US military, identified airmen families to receive a multitude of medical services.

“The outreach was intended for our military families, the EAAB elementary school and the barangays that surround the base,” said Major Edgardo Lorenzo, the activity's over-all coordinator.

“The outreach was one way [to] can help our government deliver basic health services to our community here in Zamboanga City,” Lorenzo added.

Perkins said health fairs bring residents together, with family members of those who serve their country finding it the only chance for them to seek medical treatment.

Throughout the day, Perkins said the PAF, US military, local doctors and health care staff performed medical check-ups and treated minor ailments, such as joint pain, tooth aches, colds, skin rashes, and burry vision.

He said the variety of medical services were extensive and ranged from basic procedures to specialties, such as urinary tract, vision, and ear, nose and throat doctors.

The patients received medications that they may not have been able to afford, Perkins said. (Bong Garcia)