USNS Comfort Brings Medical Assistance to Panama

The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort arrives in Panama on August 1, 2019, as part of its five-month 2019 medical assistance mission to help countries in the region who have responded to the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.

The USNS Comfort medical teams and Panamanian medical professionals will provide care in Colon from August 7 to 12th, on board and at two land-based medical sites, one at the university regional center in Colon City, and another at the Dr. Augusto Samuel Boyd School in Buena Vista, Colon.

The Ministry of Health has coordinated the USNS Comfort medical mission in Panama, with participation of local medical professionals, volunteers and associations. The hospital ship will perform around 120 surgeries on board, and will be able to serve 500 patients per day at the two medical sites in Colon, providing medical, dental, and optometry services.

The USNS Comfort, the University of Panama Veterinary School and San Francisco de Asis Foundation team up to station a veterinary clinic at the sports center Fuvesi in Colon on August 8, 9 and 12, providing spaying and vaccination services, with capacity to perform 100 surgeries per day.

Furthermore, the USNS Comfort fosters cultural and educational exchanges between Panama and the United States. U.S. service members will assist local community projects in Panama and Colon, and will hold medical and veterinarian conferences at the university regional center in Colon.

The U.S. Navy band on board the ship will perform concerts at Colon 2000 on August 10; and will be part of Panama City’s 500 hundred-years celebration, with a concert at Parque Urraca on August 11.

This mission marks the seventh deployment to the region since 2007, and the fourth to Panama. The USNS Comfort mission demonstrates U.S. commitment to humanitarian aid and attention to health systems affected by the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.

“On this fourth USNS Comfort mission in Panama, we hope to help alleviate the pressure on the Panamanian health care system, treating patients from different regions of the country,” states Captain Matthew Turner, Senior Defense Official in Panama. “This mission reinforces our commitment to foster the well-being of the people of Panama, and reflects how much we value your efforts in responding to the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.”

Besides Panama, the 2019 deployment includes stops in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.