Medical Mission Begins: Cooperative Efforts Between US-DR

Santo Domingo, D. N. The Embassy of the United States of America in coordination with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic officially launched the “Continuing Promise 2015” exercise which will last for the next ten days in the Greater Santo Domingo.

The opening ceremony was led by United States Ambassador in Dominican Republic, James W. Brewster and Defense Minister, Lieutenant General ERD, Maximum William Muñoz Delgado and United States Navy Commander, Captain Sam Hancock.

During his remarks, Ambassador Brewster expressed that Continuing Promise 2015 is a perfect example of the long history of collaboration between the United States and the Dominican Republic. All facets that reflect the mission from the medical side, surgeries, construction and restoration projects are collaborative.

The program, which begins today until Saturday August 22, with the arrival of the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, will provide medical care in the following specialized areas: ophthalmology, dentistry, general medicine, pediatrics, cardiology, dermatology, among other; completely free of charge to the Dominican people. Consultations by medical personnel will be conducted by the Comfort ship staff and medical staff from the Ministry of Health. Services and consultations will be offered in the Parque Del Este, Handball court in Villa Duarte, and the Hermandad de los Pensionados primary care center in the National District, both estimated to provide care for about 1,600 people every day.

During the hospital ship’s visit in country about 100 elective surgeries will be performed. In addition to about 100 reconstructive plastic surgery for cleft palate by Operation Smile.

On Continuing Promise

The military hospital ship Comfort will be anchored off the coast of Santo Domingo from August 15 to the 22nd as part of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) humanitarian assistance exercise organized by the United States Southern Command and U.S. Naval Forces and the Ministry of Defense of the Dominican Republic.

The ship set sail on April 6 from Florida as part of a mission to visit 12 countries in the Caribbean, Central America and South America until October in support of Continuing Promise 2015, with the participation of military and civilian crew of approximately 1,000 physicians, nurses, engineers, veterinarians, logisticians and maritime support.

Since its beginning in 2007, Continuing Promise has provided medical assistance to about 369,000 people and has conducted about 4,000 surgeries in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Continuing Promise agencies reflects the commitment of the US government, multinational companies and NGOs to provide specialized medical assistance to partner countries in the region. Exchanges between professionals on board the Comfort and in the Dominican Republic strengthen the technical and coordination capacity of both countries to respond to possible emergencies, such as natural disasters.