PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (NNS) -- Hope for Haiti Rescue Center received food and medical assistance delivered by USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) during Continuing Promise 2009 (CP09). Approximately 70 children at the center will benefit from the aid.
"It breaks my heart to see these children," said Licia Betor, Hope For Haiti volunteer. "All most of them need is food and care to get better." Betor's parents started the Hope for Haiti clinic in Cazales 14 years ago.
CP09 combines U.S. military and interagency personnel, non-governmental organizations, civil service mariners, academia, and partner nations to provide medical, dental, veterinary and engineering services afloat and ashore alongside host nation personnel.
This is the second time the clinic received assistance from Continuing Promise. USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) was on hand in September 2008 during CP08. The ship brought humanitarian assistance to the area after it was hit by hurricanes, causing major flooding, death and destruction.
"We had no food, no water, nothing," said Betor. "The Kearsarge crew came in and helped with medical assistance and aid."
This year, doctors and nurses aboard Comfort for CP09 arrived in Haiti to run a medical clinic, where they offered patients optometry and dermatology services, pediatric care and dispensed prescriptions.
Health education classes were also offered to Haitian women from the surrounding area. The clinic saw nearly 300 patients per day, both adults and children.
"I am really honored to be here," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Leslie Ruiz. "These women will be able to use this information for years to come. I have gotten so many questions. I wish I could stay out here all day and chat with them."
CP09 demonstrates USSOUTHCOM and U.S. 4th Fleet's commitment to Latin America and the Caribbean. Comfort is scheduled to visit six more countries after Haiti, including Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.
For more news from Continuing Promise, visit www.navy.mil/local/cp/.