Comfort Arrives in Colombia, Continues Mission
Story Number: NNS070822-16
Release Date: 8/22/2007 3:48:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly E. Barnes, USNS Comfort Public Affairs
BAHIA MALAGA, Colombia (NNS) -- After seeing thousands of patients in seven of 12 countries, hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Colombia, Aug. 22, to continue its four-month humanitarian assistance deployment.
While in Colombia, U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service, Canadian Forces and the non-governmental organizations Project Hope and Operation Smile will work in coordination with national and local Colombian officials to provide health care services at various locations, including Buenaventura Hospital, Bahia de Malaga, Comunidad La Sierpe and Buenaventura Coliseum.
“We’re eager to work with the Colombian doctors and medical staff,” said Capt. Bruce Boynton, commanding officer of Comfort’s medical treatment facility. “We expect to learn a lot from each other.”
Comfort will remain in Colombia for nearly a week conducting services including adult and pediatric primary care, dental care, optometry and other services.
In addition to medical services the Comfort team will offer, the embarked Naval Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202’s community projects in Colombia will include replacing hospital operating rooms and pediatric ward tiles, repairing steam lines, replacing toilets, repairing and replacing lighting fixtures and switches, and developing maintenance programs for pumps and boiler systems. The Seabees will also build a medical clinic at Le Sierpe.
“We’re really looking forward to working with the proud people of Colombia,” said Capt. Bob Kapcio, Comfort’s mission commander. “Improving the health and living conditions of as many people as we can see during our time here is good for Colombia, is good for Latin America and is good for all Americans. That is what the Partnership for the Americas is all about.”
Comfort is on a 120-day humanitarian assistance deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical assistance to patients in more than a dozen countries.
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