United States Naval Ship Comfort to visit Jamaica in May

Ship in water. (Embassy Image)
United States Naval Ship Comfort

Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson and U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Luis G. Moreno are pleased to announce that the USNS Comfort will visit Jamaica during the early part of May 2015.  While berthed in Kingston, the Comfort’s crew will provide medical services, conduct professional medical exchanges with their Jamaican counterparts, and engage in community outreach projects at schools across the island.

“I welcome this visit by the USNS Comfort which is another demonstration of the strong partnership between the United States and Jamaica”, said Dr. Ferguson.  “The Comfort’s mission – providing free, world-class medicine to our neighbors – underscores the enduring friendship between our two countries and the generosity of the American people,” said Amb. Moreno, adding “The U.S. Embassy will continue to work to enable Jamaican health and prosperity.”

The USNS Comfort’s visit to Jamaica is part of ‘Continuing Promise’, a nearly six-month humanitarian mission across the Caribbean region. While in Jamaica, the ship’s medical team expects to see several hundred per day between the two medical outreach sites at the National Arena Complex and the Maxfield Park Health Centre.  The public is welcome to stop by either site from May 6 to 13, 2015 starting at 8:30 a.m. each day (including weekends) to take advantage of the services offered by the crew of USNS Comfort.  These include optometry, dentistry, general medical, women’s health, pediatrics, and pharmacy.

The Ministry of Health will be screening candidates for surgery which will be conducted aboard the ship.  This screening will take place at the Kingston Public Hospital and the Bustamante Hospital for Children for patients previously selected for surgery who meet the screening criteria. Screening will begin on May 5, 2015.  In addition to providing medical services, the ship’s crew will assist with school renovations and other community outreach throughout Kingston & St. Andrew.

Several charities and non-profit organizations are partnering with the U.S. and the Ministry of Health to make this mission a success.  They include the Rotary Club of Kingston, Mustard Seed Communities, Help Age International Jamaica, the Lions Club of Mona and Food for the Poor.

The USNS Comfort last visited Jamaica during Operation Continuing Promise 2011.  In addition to Jamaica, the ship will visit ten countries throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America including: Belize, Columbia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

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