The Brazilian Navy is receiving one more hospital ship, the Soares de Meirelles, to serve the population that lives along the Amazon.
Its incorporation into the Brazilian Navy’s fleet will be on the 23rd, at 10 a.m., at the Rio Negro Naval Station in Manaus, Amazonas. Present at the event will be the Commandant of the Navy, Fleet Admiral Julio Soares de Moura Neto, and other military, state, and municipal authorities.
In August 2010, the Brazilian Navy and the Ministry of Health decided to acquire the vessel Ludovico Celani, which belonged to W.A. Comércio e Transporte e Navegação Ltda and was built in 2008 by the shipyard of the same name, in the city of Manaus. Three months later, the ship was named the Soares de Meirelles, in honor of Joaquim Cândido Xavier Soares de Meirelles, Surgeon-Major of the Navy and Patron of the Navy Health Corps. After its incorporation, the ship will undergo a conversion process in order to adapt it to naval service and to medical and hospital aid activities.
The acquisition of the ship originated in the urgent need, identified by the Brazilian Navy’s Articulation and Equipment Plan, to increase the number of hospital ships in the Amazon from three to five. The goal is to increase, qualitatively and quantitatively, the capacity to provide medical and dental services to the population living along the river in the Amazon region, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the state secretariats for health in the states of Acre, Amazonas, Pará, Roraima, Rondônia, and Amapá, and the municipal secretariats of health.
The Soares de Meirelles will be directly subordinated to the Amazonas Fleet Command and, along with the Osvaldo Cruz, Carlos Chagas, and Doutor Montenegro hospital ships, will contribute to carrying out Civil Defense activities (humanitarian operations and response to natural disasters), as well as providing medical and dental assistance and engaging in civic-social actions to benefit the population that lives along the river.
The ship’s crew consists of 44 military personnel, of whom 4 are officers and 40 are enlisted personnel, and Corvette Captain Rubinei dos Santos Silva will be the first commander.