The crew of the USNS Comfort hospital ship of the United States Navy will attend about 500 consultations and will perform 20 surgeries daily during the visit it will make to the Colombian Atlantic coast this month, official sources reported in Bogotá today.
"There will be about 500 consultations per day and on average there will also be 20 daily outpatient surgeries," Colombian Health Minister Juan Pablo Uribe told a news conference.
For his part, the head of the United States naval mission in Colombia, captain of frigate, Jaison Testa, explained that the ship will arrive on November 14 at Turbo (Antioquia) and then sail to Riohacha (La Guajira), where the 24
In Turbo, attention will begin on the 16th of this month and end five days later, while in Riohacha, the 26th will begin and close on November 30th.
The USNS Comfort has over a thousand beds, a dozen operating rooms, digital radiology services, a laboratory, pharmacy, a blood bank with 5,000 units as well as a heliport enabled for large aircraft.
Among the health services that will provide are general and ophthalmological surgeries, dermatology, general medical evaluation and treatment, preventive medicine, dental examinations and treatments, optometry exams, eyeglass distribution and public health.
The US ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, explained that the health services will seek to help the Colombian population, including the Wayúu indigenous people, who live in La Guajira, a department bordering Venezuela.
Whitaker said that the mission, as part of the "Durable Promise" initiative, will also serve the displaced of Venezuela "as far as we can".
The ambassador stressed that health professionals from Chile, Mexico, Honduras, Canada and Colombia also participate in this humanitarian campaign.
Likewise, he assured that the activity is part of the cooperation with Colombia and the region with the support of the ministries of health, universities and other bodies.
The USNS Comfort was already in the waters of the Colombian Pacific in 2015, when it anchored in the port of Buenaventura, in the southwest of the country, and will be the sixth hospital ship deployed by the US Navy in the region since 2007.
The hospital ship has visited 18 nations in the Caribbean, Central and South America during which it has provided medical treatment to almost 390,000 people, with more than 6,000 surgical interventions, according to the US embassy.