“The United States is proud to share some of our best medical care with our Honduran sisters and brothers! As all of our collaborative activities, foreign assistance and high-level visitors from the United States to Honduras since November last year have demonstrated, the United States has a unique and special relationship with the Honduran people. I am so proud and tremendously enthused about the upcoming visit of the USNS Comfort to Honduras.”
With those words, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Honduras, Laura Dogu, was referring to the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort. The ship will make its first trip since the Covid-19 pandemic began and will visit Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Haiti this autumn.
The USNS Comfort’s visit is part of a U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet mission called “Continuing Promise 2022”. This is the 8th time this hospital ship has visited Central America and the Caribbean since 2007. Since then, the Comfort and Continuing Promise medical personnel have treated more than 582,000 people, to include more than 7,000 surgeries. They have also completed more than 100 engineering projects over the last 16 years. Finally, they have conducted hundreds of subject matter expert exchanges along with other community relations projects and assistance activities.
In each country where it stops, the USNS Comfort’s medical teams work alongside partner nation medical personnel. In Honduras and the other countries where it stops this time, they will provide medical care onboard the ship, and at land-based medical sites. The medical and dental capabilities the Comfort offers during this visit will assist Honduran and other partner nation communities with a wide range of health services. They include general adult care, pediatric care, dental treatment, and optometry. Additionally, limited surgical procedures will be offered.
During the USNS Comfort’s visit, medical teams will also offer subject matter expert exchanges on various medical topics, provide limited veterinary care, and will offer trainings that include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief workshops. Additionally, there will be a seminar on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). WPS is a United Nations initiative that began in the year 2000. It acknowledges that women are more adversely impacted by conflict and crisis; including women in security planning will lead to a more peaceful world.
“No mission better demonstrates our enduring commitment to the region as we work collaboratively with likeminded nations to ensure a secure, free, and prosperous hemisphere,” said Rear Admiral Jim Aiken, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. “Today, more than ever, our fates are inextricably linked in the Western Hemisphere. Continuing Promise provides valuable training for U.S. and partner nation personnel to learn from each other. Working side-by-side improves the medical readiness of our region while also collectively preparing us to meet regional humanitarian challenges and natural disasters.”