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US Navy hospital ship in Colombia provides care to Venezuelan refugees

Staff Writer |
A U.S. Navy hospital ship anchored off the Colombian coast has begun providing free medical care for Colombians as well as Venezuelan refugees who’ve escaped their country amid turmoil.

The USNS Comfort’s recent arrival in the port city of Turbo could cause additional tensions between Washington, D.C., and Caracas, Venezuela, where officials have denied the country’s humanitarian crisis, The Guardian reported.

“The deployment reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with the Americas,” the U.S. Southern Command wrote in a statement describing the mission.

The floating hospital, equipped with X-ray machines, an optometry lab, a dental suite, and 5,000 packs of blood, will treat patients who are ferried by helicopter to and from the ship, according to The Guardian.

The Comfort’s crew of more than 900 doctors, nurses, military technicians, and volunteers have already treated patients in Ecuador and Peru.

Next week, the ship will stop in Riohacha where it is expected to treat even more Venezuelans. Riohacha sits near the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

It will end its duty next month in Honduras.

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