Colombia Announces Arrival of Hospital Ship USNS Comfort
By Colombian Ministry of National Defense November 13, 2018The hospital ship USNS Comfort comes to Colombia as part of a U.S.-Colombia humanitarian mission to provide medical care and assistance to the vulnerable populations of Turbo and Riohacha. Colombia is the only country where the ship will bring assistance to two regions, showing the close, continuous cooperation between both governments.
The Comfort will arrive in Turbo on November 14th to provide medical services from November 16th to 20th. The ship will then head to Riohacha, where it will provide medical services from November 26th to 30th. In addition to services provided to Colombian nationals, the mission will also bring medical care to Venezuelans who fled their country. In both cities, the Comfort’s personnel will work hand in hand with national and local authorities to guarantee excellent medical care to those in need.
Hundreds of patients in Turbo and Riohacha will receive medical assistance in general and specialty medicine, as well as surgeries thanks to the crew of more than 900 doctors, nurses, U.S. military technicians, and volunteer physicians.
This is the fifth time the Comfort brings medical assistance to Colombia. The Comfort’s visit to Colombia is part of a wider regional effort from U.S. Southern Command, which also included visits to Ecuador and Peru. The Comfort will then head to Honduras upon completing its mission in Colombia.
U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker and representatives of the Colombian government thanked all the sectors involved in the humanitarian mission, and assured that the joint work and prior coordination would contribute to improving the health of hundreds of citizens in Turbo and Riohacha with access to high-quality surgeries and medical treatment. They also highlighted the participation of local health professionals in preparation for mission Enduring Promise 2018.
“Our land, sea, and air service members and our police officers worked hard to provide the logistics to carry out the medical campaign and humanitarian mission. Our responsibility will also be to ensure the safety of patients and health personnel providing services as part of the mission,” said Colombian Vice Minister of Defense Diana Abaunza.