U.S. hospital ship makes first Solomon Islands go to

U.S. sailors dancing with children as crowd watches (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Drace Wilson)
U.S. Navy Hospitalman Kaitlyn Brusso dances with a toddler throughout the opening ceremony for Pacific Partnership 2022 in Honiara, Solomon Islands, August 30, 2022. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Drace Wilson)

On its first go to to the Solomon Islands, the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy offered medical care to hundreds of residents. The Mercy additionally labored with native well being care employees to construct Solomon Islanders’ capability to answer pure disasters.

“At this time, we make historical past as we be a part of palms in partnership and friendship to welcome and rejoice the inaugural go to by the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy to Solomon Islands,” Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare stated throughout a public welcome ceremony in Honiara August 30.

The Mercy’s two-week go to to the Solomon Islands was a part of the Pacific Partnership 2022 train. The annual train, in its seventeenth 12 months, is the most important multinational humanitarian help and catastrophe reduction preparedness mission within the Indo-Pacific, based on the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command.

A floating hospital

The Mercy is not like virtually every other U.S. Navy ship. At 275 meters lengthy, the cell hospital can home as much as 1,000 hospital beds, 12 working rooms and 1,200 medical professionals when totally staffed.

Ship anchored near coast (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raphael McCorey)
The USNS Mercy sits at anchor upon its arrival off the coast of Honiara, Solomon Islands, throughout Pacific Partnership 2022 September 1, 2022. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist third Class Raphael McCorey)

Through the go to to the Solomon Islands, the crew carried out almost 6,000 medical appointments — together with 4,500 dental procedures — carried out greater than 50 surgical procedures and distributed 1,000 pairs of glasses.

Catastrophe preparedness

The medical workers of the Mercy additionally educated native well being care employees. The coaching included a workshop on humanitarian help and catastrophe reduction in partnership with the Solomon Islands authorities.

Medical professionals training on simulated patient (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Woitzel)
Lieutenant Junior Grade Celeste Arteaga teaches native nurses from the Solomon Islands the best way to examine the digestive tract on a simulated affected person aboard the USNS Mercy in Honiara, Solomon Islands, August 31, 2022. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Woitzel)

The go to additionally spanned 4 engineering initiatives, one in every of which put in volcano monitoring gear on Savo Island. Residents will now obtain early warnings of potential volcanic exercise.

The crew of the Mercy participated in 16 live shows, in addition to neighborhood college occasions.

These actions are a part of efforts to construct connections and increase humanitarian capabilities, stated Captain Hank Kim, Pacific Partnership 2022 mission commander.

“As we be taught from one another and develop as professionals,” Kim stated, “we improve our collective means to answer any catastrophe we might face. Because the Pacific Partnership motto goes, ‘we’re getting ready in calm to reply in disaster.’”

Along with the Solomon Islands, this Pacific Partnership mission included stops in Vietnam, Palau, the Philippines and engineering engagements in Fiji and Papua New Guinea.


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