Free treatment on US Navy ship
PANAMA. The US Navy hospital ship Comfort will reach Panama today, and stay until June 1 as part of a four months mission offering free...
PANAMA. The US Navy hospital ship Comfort will reach Panama today, and stay until June 1 as part of a four months mission offering free medical services through the Caribbean, Central America and Colombia’s coastline
During her Panama stay the ship, staffed by an international medical team will be berthed in Colon’s Cristobal port. She left Norfolk, Virginia on April 1.
The Comfort has 12 operating rooms, capacity for 1,000 hospital beds, and a fully equipped. treatment center
With big red crosses on the hull, the Comfort will comply with a promise made two years ago of offering humanitarian medical help and improving health service in the hemisphere.
Among the 800 crew are medical personnel from partner countries: France, Canada, Holland, and Spain as well as non-governmental organizations and members of all branches of the US army.
This is the fourth humanitarian aid mission and follows the Comfort’s trip in 2007 and other visits by ships such as the USS Boxer.
This year, the Comfort will work alongside Panama’s Health Ministry to treat patients previously selected by the government, to make donations from non-governmental organizations, and to provide assistance to community infrastructures.
On Thursday they will visit the Embera Quera village near the Canal entrance, where the ship’s crew will make donations to the community and offer on-site medical treatment.
This visit follows one in 2007, when a 12 country mission of doctors and nurses on the USNS Comfort, treated thousands of patients in Latin America and the Caribbean ranging from medical evaluations to operations to remove cataracts.
In Panama, 29,028 cases were treated, and patients received services such as radiology, laboratory tests, immunizations, surgery, and more.
The US technicians also helps to renovate some of the local health centers.
This year the hospital ship made its first stop in Haití, where for 10 days Haitians received free surgical treatment. After Haiti, the Comfort stopped by the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda.
After Panama, the Comfort will continue with its mission visiting Colombia, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
The ship will pass through the Canal’s Miraflores locks on Wednesday June 3.