The US Naval Ship Comfort is a Mercy-class hospital ship or a floating medical treatment facility whose crew and medical staff will be conducting a health mission in the Federation from October 5, 2019 to October 10, 2019. This exercise is being done under the auspices of The United States Embassy in Barbados, as part of the U.S. Southern Command’s “Enduring Promise Initiative”. The US Naval Ship Comfort is expected to berth/ dock on October 3, 2019 and is scheduled to depart our shores on October 12, 2019. In essence, this is a humanitarian mission with two components: (1) a land- based medical mission; and (2) a ship -based surgical mission.
The Medical Mission involves the provision of healthcare at the two (2) following land-based medical sites, namely: (1) Antioch Baptist Church grounds, Lime Kiln ( beside the NEMA Headquarters); (2) St. Paul’s Community Centre. Persons from St. Kitts and Nevis are invited to access care at these two medical sites from October 5, 2019 to October 10, 2019 afromt 9:00 am through to 3:00 pm daily.
The Surgical Mission involves the provision of surgical interventions and care onboard the hospital ship to persons diagnosed with a surgical problem. Such an individual would have been referred to the hospital ship by his/her attending local physician. It is the responsibility of the surgical patient and his/her attending physician to give serious consideration to the coordination of care of the patient after discharge from the USNS -Comfort – and more specifically, after the departure of the ship from our port.
If you have been diagnosed with a surgical problem and if you are in need of surgical care you are invited to visit your regular physician or the District Medical Officer (DMO) at the nearest health centre who will then confirm suitability for your referral to the ship hospital . Your regular physician or the DMO will be required to complete the relevant documentation and submit your name and completed document to Dr Keisha Liddie, Director of Community Health Services and focal point for the ship hospital in St. Kitts, or to Dr Judy Nisbett, Medical Officer of Health and focal point in Nevis. The Ministry of Health was informed that all surgical candidates will be screened for tuberculosis.
Each surgical candidate, whose name was submitted by his/her doctor, along with an adult next- of -kin or patient escort will be required to attend a pre – surgical screening clinic to determine eligibility. This pre-surgical screening and eligibility clinic is scheduled for Thursday October 4, 2019 at the Antioch Baptist Church grounds, Lime Kiln from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The USNS -Comfort and its uniformed naval hospital staff have been deployed to provide humanitarian care to the people of the Federation in October of this year. This navy hospital ship will make similar stops in ten (10) other Latin American and Caribbean territories.