ISDSC Military Health Services Work Group meets


The Southern African Development Community (SADC’s) ISDSC Military Health Services Work met this week Tuesday to yesterday to reflect on the military health achievements over the last decade and identify the new challenges facing military health services in the region.

“Diseases know no borders, and we as military health services must strive towards achieving our primary objective of an optimum degree of military health cooperation in our region”, the incoming chairperson of the Work Group, Lieutenant General Veejay Ramlakan (pictured) told delegates at the opening ceremony on Tuesday at Centurion Lake Hotel, Centurion.


Ramlakan is the Surgeon General of the SA National Defence Force.


The Military Health Services Work Group is a sub-committee of the SADC Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) and was established during the 20th Session of the ISDSC in Mbabane, Swaziland, in March 1999 to coordinate matters military health in the SADC region.


This week’s meeting was the 10th held since then.

SA also assumed the chairmanship of the Work Group from Namibia, the chair for 2009.

The Work Group meets annually to address a broad range of military health issues in the region and provide an opportunity for member states to review progress, examine setbacks and map out strategies towards achieving effective and efficient military health services delivery, SA Military Health Service spokesman Colonel Louis Kirstein said.

The ISDSC Military Health Services Work Group includes Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


The role and functions of the Military Health Services Work Group are among other things to:

  • Achieve an optimum degree of military health co-operation in the Southern African Region within the aims and objectives of ISDSC;

  • Co-operate in times of national and regional disaster and epidemics;

  • Joint training;

  • Exchange of expertise;

  • Development of joint doctrine;

  • Participation in national and regional health programs both in war and peacetime; and,

  • Support civil military alliance in combating diseases.


Part of this year’s included the review of strategies and tactics to fight diseases such as HIV and AIDS, Malaria and TB.