Project HOPE On Medical Mission to Haiti Aboard USNS Comfort
By Dialogo August 23, 2011
Project HOPE volunteers arrived in Haiti to provide medical care for underserved communities, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy on the hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, which is making a poignant return visit 18 months after providing emergency care to thousands struck by a devastating earthquake that left hundreds of thousands homeless.
Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, will check in on patients who underwent surgery aboard the Comfort for injuries after the massive 2010 quake. Some patients will have follow up operations on the ship while others will be treated in Port-au-Prince.
“It’s a great honor for Project HOPE to return to Haiti on board the USNS Comfort after an effective collaboration with the U.S. Navy in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. Our partnership with the U.S. Navy has produced invaluable health benefits to communities in need throughout the Latin American region,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.
Project HOPE partnered with the U.S. Navy to care for more than 1,000 Haitians aboard the USNS Comfort. HOPE also provided more than $60 million of medicines and medical supplies to the relief effort. After the Comfort left Haiti, HOPE continued to send volunteer doctors and nurses to support health care systems at three separate hospitals throughout Haiti. HOPE currently has medical volunteers at Hopital Albert Schweitzer, in Deschapelles, assisting cholera patients, as well as HOPE staff at the Adventist Hospital in Diquini, supporting a multi-year rehabilitation program to care for more than 4,000 amputees since the earthquake.
HOPE medical volunteers have been on board the massive white hospital ship since April as part of a five-month international mission, known as Continuing Promise 2011. More than 1,000 surgeries have been performed and almost 135,600 medical services provided to over 41,000 patients so far in Jamaica, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru with a final stop in Haiti. The mission has provided over 6,000 health education opportunities to local health professionals and their communities throughout the region.
HOPE volunteers have trained local physicians, nurses and community health professionals and patients received primary care services on in cardiology, pediatrics, infectious disease and dermatology.