UNITED STATES NAVAL SHIP “COMFORT” (T-AH 20)

A total of 3,677 citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis were seen,
assessed and received treatment by the medical staff of the US Naval Ship
Comfort, during its recent visit to the Federation. The staff of the floating
medical treatment facility/floating hospital concluded its mission to the
Federation on Thursday, October 10, 2019 after conducting six days of medical
consultations at two land-based sites in St. Kitts, namely Antioch Baptist
Church at Lime Kiln, Basseterre, and the community centre in St. Paul’s.
Some 25 surgical procedures would have also been conducted aboard the
floating hospital for various ailments and conditions including, but not limited
to cleft palate repair, and cataract, hydrocele and orthopedic surgery.
The Federal Ministry of Health has re-confirmed that the USNS Comfort was
deployed by the Government of the United States of America to offer medical
care to the people of our Federation. By the end of its mission the navy hospital
ship would have made similar stops in ten (10) other Latin American and
Caribbean territories including St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica,
and Trinidad and Tobago

An official from the Federal Ministry of Health has extended sincere
appreciation to the Government of the United States of America and, more
specifically, to the captain and crew of the USNS Comfort, for including St. Kitts
and Nevis in its itinerary of medical stops. The Ministry views the medical
mission as a demonstration of the strong bilateral relations existing between
the USA and St. Kitts and Nevis. The Ministry official also expressed gratitude
for the large number of persons who availed themselves of the free medical
services from the staff of the floating hospital, in spite of the unfounded
medical propaganda that surrounded the vessel’s Caribbean and Latin
American mission even prior to the ship’s arrival in our Country. The public’s
confidence in accessing medical care was evidenced by the long lines and
numerous citizens and residents who availed themselves of the dental,
optometry and general medical services provided at the two land-based sides in
St. Kitts.
Now that the medical mission of the USNS Comfort has ended, the Federal
Ministry of Health wishes to remind citizens and residents who would have
accessed medical services to actively police their health, to follow the advice
given during medical consultations, and to do the necessary follow-up with
their primary care physician or District Medical Officer (DMO) in order to
safeguard and improve their health and wellness. On this score, it was noted
by the Ministry that a significant number of medical referrals have already
been made to the Nation’s hospital and health centres, with a high percentage
of those being related to the management and treatment of Non-communicable
Diseases (NCDs), our Nation’s leading cause of death and disability. As can be
expected, a considerable amount of these referrals are linked to obesity and
being overweight, which are major risk factors for NCDs.

The Federal Ministry of Health wishes to advise the public that the captain and
crew of the USNS Comfort made a significant medical donation to the
Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis prior to the ship’s departure. A
total of 22 palates of medical supplies, including pharmaceuticals were donated
to the Ministry on Friday, October 11, 2019. These medical goods are
currently being audited and will be shared equitably among the institution and
community-based health facilities on St. Kitts and Nevis. The Ministry is most
appreciative of this generous donation.
The Federal Ministry of Health wishes to use this medium to document its
sincere gratitude to our local medical and nursing teams, and to our security
forces who rendered invaluable support to the recently concluded medical
mission to St. Kitts and Nevis at the two land-based medical sites, and aboard
the USNS Comfort.