U.S. Medical Role in Haiti Steadily Declining as GoH, NGOs Assist Haitians with Follow-on Care

Story Number: NNS100306-02Release Date: 3/6/2010 8:35:00 AM
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From Lt. Jennifer Cragg, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- It's been a week since the last Haitian was treated aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), as the need for immediate medical attention is declining, said Joint Task Force-Haiti surgeon.

"The Comfort currently has no Haitian patients aboard," Col. Jennifer Menetrez, the Joint Task Force-Haiti surgeon told bloggers in a DoDLive bloggers roundtable, March 4. "The last patient was discharged from the Comfort on Feb. 27."

While the hospital beds and hallways of Comfort are void of Haitian patients, the Comfort remains on station to provide any follow-on care as needed by the government of Haiti.

Menetrez said that they are seeing their role in Haiti steadily reducing as non-governmental organizations and the government of Haiti continues supporting the local people.

"Over the last 10 days, we've seen over a 65 percent reduction in patients on board the [Comfort] as they have been appropriately transferred to local hospitals for follow-on care," she added.

This follow-on care is being supported by the numerous mobile and on-site clinics that have been set up to support the people of Haiti.

"To date there are 130 mobile clinics and 156 on-site clinics," she said. "The collaboration between military, government of Haiti and USAID continues to be wonderful. Collaboration between all parties has been a milestone of a unified response through a challenging event."

The government of Haiti has made mobile clinics a priority as they support the IDP camps, she added.

Since the Comfort arrived on station, U.S. military medical personnel have provided care to over 8,600 Haitian residents.

"Of the 8,600 patients seen, the U.S. military surgeons performed close to 1,000 surgeries, primary care physicians conducted over 7,200 outpatient visits and oversaw the care of 1,300 for post surgical care within the hospital wards," she added.

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