Hundreds to benefit from US Navy Hospital Ship

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton (second right), is being briefed by Lieutenant Commander Gustavo Lores (right), during a tour of one of the operating theatres inside the United States (US) Navy Hospital Ship, USNS Comfort, on Monday (October 28), which is docked at Victoria pier, Kingston. Director of Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Nicole Dawkins-Wright (left); and Director, Risk Management, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Lambert Innis, were also on the tour. (Photo: JIS)
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton (second right), is being briefed by Lieutenant Commander Gustavo Lores (right), during a tour of one of the operating theatres inside the United States (US) Navy Hospital Ship, USNS Comfort, on Monday (October 28), which is docked at Victoria pier, Kingston. Director of Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Nicole Dawkins-Wright (left); and Director, Risk Management, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Lambert Innis, were also on the tour. (Photo: JIS)

Hundreds of Jamaicans are expected to benefit from the nine-day medical mission of the United States Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) from October 28 to November 1.

It is anticipated that 150 surgeries will be conducted on board the ship, which is currently docked at Victoria pier, downtown Kingston. These include ophthalmology, orthopaedic, oral maxillofacial, wound care, urology, and plastic and general surgery.

Basic medical services will also be provided at walk-in sites at Sabina Park and the Greater Portmore Health Centre.

Tour of the ship

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, toured the ship on Monday, October 28, where he spoke with the doctors, nurses and other professionals who are offering their service, and thanked them for their partnership with Jamaica on this initiative.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Hon Christopher Tufton (right), speaks with senior citizen Hylton Gordon, who was treated by doctors from the United States (US) Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) at Sabina Park, Kingston, on Monday, October 28.

“I am very impressed with what I saw.”

— Tufton

“I am very impressed with what I saw. This is a facility that has nearly 900 beds, 100 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, over 1,000 staff members covering medical staff to support team. It’s a self-sufficient vessel producing its own oxygen, water, etcetera, and, of course, critical to all of this, are men and women, who are from different countries throughout the world, who are professionals, who go around the world and provide medical care to citizens of the world,” Tufton said.

USNS Comfort has been on a five-month deployment since June to countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean in support of humanitarian and partner-building efforts as part of the US Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative.

Since 2007, personnel involved in USNS Comfort deployments have treated more than 488,000 patients, performed 5,500 surgeries, completed more than 100 engineering projects, and conducted countless other assistance activities.

It is the ship’s third mission to Jamaica.