May 12, 2021

US hospital ship ends its mission in Colombia after serving 10,393 people

US hospital ship ends its mission in Colombia after serving 10,393 people

The USNS Comfort hospital ship of the United States Navy today completed its two-week mission in Colombia after treating 10,393 patients, many of them Venezuelan, and performing more than 250 surgeries during their stopovers in two Caribbean ports.

The ship made its first stop on November 15 in Turbo, in the department of Antioquia (northwest), and from there it went to Riohacha, departmental capital of La Guajira (north), where it remained the last five days, reported the United States Embassy in a statement.

At the closing ceremony, the US ambassador In Colombia, Kevin Whitaker said that with this medical mission, his country reiterates its commitment to the Andean nation.

"We were next to Colombia in La Guajira in the past, we are now and we will be in the future, which also indicates a commitment on the part of the guajiros because I know that they have the will and the commitment to succeed and to bring forward their department so precious and important for the future of the country, "said the diplomat, quoted in the statement.

The USNS Comfort has more than 1,000 beds, a dozen operating rooms, digital radiology services, a laboratory, pharmacy and a blood bank with 5,000 units, as well as a heliport enabled for large aircraft.

Among the health services provided are general and ophthalmological surgeries, dermatology, general medical evaluation and treatment, preventive medicine, dental examinations and treatments, optometry examinations, eyeglass distribution and public health.

This is the fifth time that the Comfort comes to the country as part of a larger regional effort of the Southern Command of the United States that as part of the "Operation Promise Durable" also included visits to Ecuador and Peru, and will continue its mission in Honduras .

For his part, the commander of the Southern Command of the United States, Admiral Craig Faller, today highlighted the cooperation between the two countries and the attention received by some Venezuelans fleeing the humanitarian crisis in their country.

"The Comfort mission is just a small contribution to a much broader humanitarian effort to support Venezuela's neighbors as they (Colombia) host millions of Venezuelans leaving their nation in crisis," the official said.

According to UN figures, three million Venezuelans have fled their country, fleeing the social and political crisis that exists there, of which 2.4 million are in Latin America, of which more than one million have settled in Colombia.

In addition to the Venezuelan population, the personnel of the vessel Comfort, in which professionals from the United States, Chile, Mexico, Honduras, Canada and Colombia participate, assisted Colombian indigenous communities.


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