USNS Comfort Hospital Ship to visit St. Kitts and Nevis
By: T. Chapman
The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) will offer free medical services to St. Kitts and Nevis nationals from October 5-10.
As per information disseminated, the ship will conduct approximately 100 on-board surgeries, provide basic medical services at two medical walk-in sites as well as host health fairs/community outreach to address various public health topics in each of the countries it visits.
A press release by the United States Embassy in Bridgetown said:
Surgery candidates will be selected by the respective country’s Ministry of Health. Onboard surgeries will fall under the categories of Opthalmology, General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Wound Care and Urology. Surgery candidates will be drawn primarily from existing waiting lists within the public health system. Candidates with the optimal clinical background and those who have been on the waiting list for the longest timeframe will be prioritized. The categories of services offered at the medical walk-in sites are Adult Medical Services, Pediatric Medical Services, Dental, Optometry, Physical Therapy and Dermatology. The walk-in sites will operate from approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day on a first come, first serve basis. In order to see as many patients as possible, each person will be seen by only one provider, unless that provider deems additional services are needed for the identified condition and are available at the site.
The release stated that members of the public should NOT send medical records to the U.S. Embassy.
The USNS Comfort trip to St. Kitts and Nevis is part of the ship’s five-month deployment to Latin America and Canada. The USNS Comfort medical teams will also provide care in Grenada, St. Lucia Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Jamaica, and Panama during this deployment.
The USNS Comfort operation is part of the deepening of U.S. engagement in the region under the health pillar of the U.S.-Caribbean 2020 Strategy. This marks the seventh hospital ship deployment to the region since 2007.U.S. Embassy, Bridgetown – Barbados