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Peru: US hospital ship provides aid to Venezuelan refugees02:15

Peru: US hospital ship provides aid to Venezuelan refugees

Peru, Callao
July 14, 2019 at 00:43 GMT +00:00 · Published

Local Peruvians and Venezuelan refugees received medical care from the US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort in the seaside city of Callao on Friday, as part of a mission to provide medical care in the region, which has been hit by the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.

Military medical personnel provided a range of health care services, including optometry, dentistry and general health check-ups in their medical centre sites, as well as surgery on board the ship itself. Staff expect to perform up to 20 surgeries a day.

US Navy commander Corey Gustafson explained a lot of the work was focused on alleviating the strain on Peru's health system, which has come under pressure after an influx of refugees from Venezuela. The UN estimates' over 4 million Venezuelans have fled their homeland since in the last four years, with 768,000 of those arriving in Peru.

"I think, maybe, the best thing we can do is [that] we're helping the medical systems of these countries. So trying to alleviate some of the pressure that's on those countries so that's been very satisfying," he said.

During its five-month deployment, the ship will also service Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia.

Peru: US hospital ship provides aid to Venezuelan refugees02:15
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Description

Local Peruvians and Venezuelan refugees received medical care from the US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort in the seaside city of Callao on Friday, as part of a mission to provide medical care in the region, which has been hit by the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.

Military medical personnel provided a range of health care services, including optometry, dentistry and general health check-ups in their medical centre sites, as well as surgery on board the ship itself. Staff expect to perform up to 20 surgeries a day.

US Navy commander Corey Gustafson explained a lot of the work was focused on alleviating the strain on Peru's health system, which has come under pressure after an influx of refugees from Venezuela. The UN estimates' over 4 million Venezuelans have fled their homeland since in the last four years, with 768,000 of those arriving in Peru.

"I think, maybe, the best thing we can do is [that] we're helping the medical systems of these countries. So trying to alleviate some of the pressure that's on those countries so that's been very satisfying," he said.

During its five-month deployment, the ship will also service Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia.

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