Wednesday, April 15, 2009

USNS Comfort Delivers Medical Care, Sign of U.S. Commitment to Haiti

Stepping away from the world of Somali pirates, it's time to highlight the good word being done by the U.S. Navy and other services in other parts of the world, such as USNS Comfort Delivers Medical Care, Sign of U.S. Commitment to Haiti:
A massive white ship with a big red crosses on its superstructure anchored off Haiti’s capital city is bringing hope – and tangible proof of a continued U.S. commitment -- to the Haitian people, the ship’s commodore told American Forces Press Service.

USNS Comfort pulled into Port au Prince Harbor on April 9, the first stop during its four-month Continuing Promise 2009 humanitarian assistance mission through Latin America and the Caribbean.

Just a few days into the mission, Comfort’s crew of medical professionals from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and U.S. Public Health Service, as well as about a dozen nongovernmental organizations and international partners, are making a dramatic impact here.

Hundreds of patients have been ferried to the vessel for treatment, where Comfort’s staff keeps its X-ray machines, CAT scan machines, pharmacy, dental suites, physical therapy and other services buzzing, reported Navy Capt. James J. Ware, commander of Comfort’s medical operations.

Ware reminded the medical staff during an all-hands session last night on the ship’s mess deck about the impact of the care they’re providing.

“For some of these people, this may be the first time -- and it could be the only time -- that they ever get the opportunity to see a physician,” he said. “This isn’t about numbers, but we want to be able to take care of as many people as we can. What you’re doing is making a real difference in people’s lives."

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