U.S. Hospital Ship Arrives in Nicaragua to Provide Care to Local Patients
By Dialogo June 21, 2011
The U.S. Navy’s hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived in Nicaragua on 17 June as part of a medical mission that will provide free care to thousands of people with few resources, the U.S. embassy announced.
The ship, with 250 hospital beds and 900 crew members, dropped anchor in the bay of San Juan del Sur, on the Pacific coast, near the border with Costa Rica, where it will remain for ten days, in order to perform 100 surgeries and provide medical and dental care to more than 7,500 people, according to a press release issued by the diplomatic legation.
The mission will also provide veterinary care and carry out community projects in that area of the department of Rivas, according to the statement.
The ship has four operating rooms, X-ray and CAT-scan equipment, a pharmacy, dental chairs, and physical-therapy rooms.
This is the Comfort’s third visit to Nicaragua and its fifth medical mission as part of the Continuing Promise program of the U.S. Southern Command.
The Comfort’s medical personnel will work in coordination with Nicaraguan medical personnel from the Army and from the Health, Education, and Agriculture Ministries.
Dental care is of great importance for patients with low income since oral health is a step towards good health in general, because the mouth represents the entry to our organism and I am very grateful that help of such magnitude is coming. And well, they were attending to many of my colleagues which I know personally and I can tell that they are great professionals as humanitarians. This type of aid is a good thing, but if we could plan properly and advertise it well, that would be very useful for those who would like to have access to this type of aid. The people engaged in this work should prepare themselves to be tolerant, in order to provide useful information and care for those in need.