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US Hospital Ship Arrives In Peruvian Port To Treat Venezuelan Refugees

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The USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, is in the Peruvian port of Callao until Sunday to help local patients as well as Venezuelan refugees who fled socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

“Our team will work side-by-side with hundreds of doctors, nurses and surgeons throughout the region to build medical readiness, disaster capacity and lasting relationships,” Admiral Craig S. Faller, head of U.S. Southern Command, said in a statement.

The USNS Comfort arrived at the port Monday. Its medical team will perform up to 20 surgeries a day on board the ship from Wednesday to Sunday, U.S. Southern Command said June 23. (RELATED: French Police Reported Nearly 900 Acts Of Anti-Catholic Vandalism In 2018. What Is Going On?)

The ship is equipped with resources including a dental office, an optometry lab and a blood bank.

Lt. Cmdr. Jack Eric Tobin, a Navy nurse, assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), checks a patient’s vital signs at a temporary medical treatment site near Callao, Peru, on July 10, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Richards)

Lt. Cmdr. Jack Eric Tobin, a Navy nurse, assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), checks a patient’s vital signs at a temporary medical treatment site near Callao, Peru, on July 10, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Richards)

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jose L. Reyes, from Lancaster, Calif., assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), left, and Lt. Vy Vy Vu (right), a U.S. Public Health Service dentist, treat a patient for dental care at a temporary medical site near Callao, Peru, on July 9, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maria G. Llanos)

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jose L. Reyes, from Lancaster, Calif., assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), left, and Lt. Vy Vy Vu (right), a U.S. Public Health Service dentist, treat a patient for dental care at a temporary medical site near Callao, Peru, on July 9, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maria G. Llanos)

As the team made up of U.S. and Peruvian medical professionals operates, health care continues to deteriorate in chaos-stricken Venezuela, where once-eradicated diseases are threatening the lives of children, reported Fox News. Venezuelans have struggled to afford food and basic needs for years under Maduro, but their plight got the world’s attention in January when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the country’s legitimate leader.

The USNS Comfort has deployed to Peru four times and treated a total of nearly 23,000 patients, according to U.S. Southern Command.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan refugees have fled to neighboring Colombia, the Caribbean and, of course, Peru. More than 4 million Venezuelans have left their country since 1999, with more than 3 million fleeing between 2015 and 2019, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

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Daniel Christof

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