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Sunday 22 September 2019
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US Comfort crew completes 115 surgeries in TT

USNS comfort docked in the Gulf of Paria, three miles off the port of Brighton, La Brea. The medical ship is providing medical services to several communities and medical staff will be performing surgeries while docked in Trinidad and Tobago. Photo: Lincoln Holder
USNS comfort docked in the Gulf of Paria, three miles off the port of Brighton, La Brea. The medical ship is providing medical services to several communities and medical staff will be performing surgeries while docked in Trinidad and Tobago. Photo: Lincoln Holder

OVER ten children, the youngest, a one-year-old infant was among 115 patients who underwent life-saving surgeries within the last five days on board the USNS Comfort.

The hospital ship was set to leave TT yesterday. Some of the procedures done on children included cleft lip, gall bladder, cataract and bone repair surgeries. Some of the patients included Venezuelan nationals.

Speaking at the closing ceremony at Brighton Port, La Brea, the Prime Minister said TT was lucky to be chosen as one of the countries within the US programme.

“Thank you for choosing TT for this assignment, you have brought relief to many people including our guests from Venezuela who would have taken the opportunity to partake in the services.”

Dr Rowley said when a request came to him for the US Comfort to come to TT's shores he was very happy and immediately accepted.

“We anxiously awaited their arrival. We are lucky to be included in the programme.”

He said a total of five thousand people were attended to by doctors on the ship. “In just a few days they were able to access the best medical care in the world because this ship is outfitted with everything you can want in a hospital. We were very grateful to be given the opportunity and they did provide a very valuable service to us.”

Rowley also said the health care in TT was good and, as such, additional help they received from the US was no indication that the local system was a failure. He said the medical services provided should be seen as additional support.

The US visit was part of the ship’s five-month deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean on a medical assistance mission.

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