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US ‘floating hospital’ to return to RP

May 7, 2008 9:06am
MANILA, Philippines - The United States government said its Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy is due to make a return visit to the Philippines late this month to conduct medical missions in Visayas and Mindanao.

In a statement on its website, the US embassy said the "floating hospital" will be in the Philippines from late May through mid-June to support medical, dental, veterinary programs at select locations in Samar and Mindanao.

The ship will also deploy U.S. Seabees to conduct repair and construction projects in these areas.

"I am delighted the USNS Mercy is returning to the Philippines because it strengthens the many partnerships we have in the Philippines to help those in need. The mission of the USNS Mercy is all about partnerships - with local NGOs, with Philippine health care professionals, with the local government officials, with the Armed Forces, and with the people of the communities who will host the Mercy and her crew," said US Ambassador Kristie Kenney.

The Embassy noted that all medical and dental assistance programs are coordinated with and approved by the Philippine government.

USNS Mercy, an 894-foot-long ship whose home port is San Diego, California, is designed and equipped to provide a variety of health services such as primary medical care, optometry screenings, burn care, preventative medicine, dental services, veterinary care, and surgery.

It is capable of supporting medical and humanitarian assistance needs and responding to a range of situations on short notice.

The USNS Mercy was deployed in response to the December 2004 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia and also made a humanitarian visit to the Southern Philippines in 2006. - GMANews.TV
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