U.S. Hospital Ship will treat thousands of patients on the northern Peruvian coast

The United States Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), arrives in Peru on a medical assistance mission on October 30. It anchors near the port of Paita, Piura, and will provide medical services and surgeries from November 1 to 5 for patients from the Peruvian north coast, including Piura and Tumbes. During the visit, the USNS Comfort medical team expects to treat approximately 750 patients per day at each medical center on the coast, and anticipates performing up to 20 surgeries per day aboard the vessel.

Under the command of Captain William Shafley, the USNS Comfort will be received by the Peruvian Navy at the Paita Naval Station. Three doctors from the Armed Forces of Peru who embarked in Norfolk, Virginia, are part of the mission’s crew: Peruvian Army Lieutenant Colonel Ángel Alberto Niño de Guzmán Salgado, Peruvian Air Force Major Claudia Alexandra Portugal Rodríguez, and Peruvian Navy First Lieutenant Ángel Miguel Zelada Lorenzo.

The Peruvian doctors will work side by side with more than 200 U.S. doctors, nurses, technicians and personnel from other friendly nations. The USNS Comfort has modern facilities aboard, including operating rooms and post-surgical rooms, a CT unit, X-ray equipment, a dental office, optometry laboratory, physical therapy area, two oxygen production plants, and a 5,000-unit blood bank.

The USNS Comfort will work in coordination with the ministries of Defense and Health, the Regional Government of Piura, and local governments, who will announce information on the treatment sites in the coming days. The Ministry of Health will be in charge of selecting the candidates for surgery.

In addition to Peru, the USNS Comfort will provide medical assistance in Ecuador, Colombia, and Honduras.

This is the third deployment of the USNS Comfort to Peru. In 2011, the Comfort visited the port of Paita, where its team provided treatment to 7,352 patients. In 2007, the Comfort visited the port of Salaverry, where its team treated 9,223 patients.