United States Naval Ship to provide Medical Services
UNITED STATES Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort, a Mercy-class hospital ship, is to provide medical services during its visit to Jamaica next month.
While berthed in Kingston, the Comfort's crew will provide medical services, conduct professional medical exchanges with their Jamaican counterparts, and engage in community outreach projects at schools islandwide.
"I welcome this visit by the USNS Comfort, which is another demonstration of the strong partnership between the United States and Jamaica," said Dr Fenton Ferguson, minister of health.
US Ambassador to Jamaica Luis G. Moreno said the US Embassy will continue to enable health prosperity for Jamaicans.
"The Comfort's mission - providing free, world-class medicine to our neighbours - underscores the enduring friendship between our two countries and the generosity of the American people. The US Embassy will continue to work to enable Jamaican health and prosperity," said Moreno.
The USNS Comfort's visit to Jamaica is part of 'Continuing Promise', a nearly six-month humanitarian mission across the Caribbean region. While in Jamaica, the ship's medical team expects to see several hundred per day between the two medical outreach sites at the National Arena Complex and the Maxfield Park Health Centre. The public is welcome to stop by either site from May 6-13, starting at 8:30 a.m. each day (including weekends) to take advantage of the services offered by the crew of USNS Comfort. These include optometry, dentistry, general medical, women's health and paediatrics.
The Ministry of Health will be screening candidates for surgery which will be conducted aboard the ship. This screening will take place at the Kingston Public Hospital and the Bustamante Hospital for Children for patients previously selected for surgery who meet the screening criteria. Screening will begin on May 5. In addition to providing medical services, the ship's crew will assist with school renovations and other community outreach throughout Kingston & St Andrew.
Several charities and non-profit organisations are partnering with the US and the Ministry of Health to make this mission a success. They include the Rotary Club of Kingston, Mustard Seed Communities, Help Age International Jamaica, the Lions Club of Mona and Food For The Poor.
The USNS Comfort last visited Jamaica during Operation Continuing Promise 2011. In addition to Jamaica, the ship will visit countries throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America, including Belize, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.