By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The United States Navy Vessel, the USNS Comfort and its crew are in Belize on a medical mission to provide surgeries and other much needed healthcare services.
The mission, entitled “Continuing Promise 2015” was officially launched on Friday morning at the Fort George Memorial Park, and gathered high ranking navy officials as well as officials from the Ministry of National Security.
Captain William Todd of the USNS Comfort explained that apart from the wide range of services being offered on the ship, the mission will set up two medical centres in the north and south of Belize.
“We have two medical centres one in Hattieville the other at Independence High School”, Todd explained. “What they will be offering is generalized medical care, paediatric care, women’s health, a dentist and other hygienist and also optometry.”
The mission began with two days of screening conducted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where the medical teams assessed whether or not patients would be fit for surgery and if the required recovery time was one that would be feasible with the crew’s timetable.
Suitable candidates for surgery were given a surgery date but will board the comfort the day before to get prepared for the procedure. The vessel has 11 operating theatres and will cater for 100 surgeries. Belize is the first stop in the ships 11-country itinerary.
The vessel dropped anchor nine miles off the coast of Belize on Thursday, with over 1000 crew members bearing various responsibilities.