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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has expressed gratitude and appreciation to the crew of the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort, which provided medical, engineering, and social services during their eight-day stay in Kingston from May 6 to 13.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller said the team’s engagements had “touched the lives of so many of our people in a remarkable way.”
  • The vessel’s medical personnel administered healthcare to approximately 10,000 persons, and performed some 100 surgeries, while members of the engineering corps undertook over eight projects at schools and health facilities.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has expressed gratitude and appreciation to the crew of the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort, which provided medical, engineering, and social services during their eight-day stay in Kingston from May 6 to 13.

Speaking at a closing ceremony for the humanitarian mission by the over 1,000 crew members, at the United States Embassy, in Kingston, on May 13, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the team’s engagements had “touched the lives of so many of our people in a remarkable way.”

The vessel’s medical personnel administered healthcare to approximately 10,000 persons, and performed some 100 surgeries, while members of the engineering corps undertook over eight projects at schools and health facilities.

The vessel’s visit formed part of a six-month humanitarian mission across the Caribbean.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said these engagements complemented the “continuing efforts” of medical personnel in Jamaica’s public and private health institutions.

“It also lends vital support to the ongoing initiatives of the Government to improve our facilities, services, and access to quality healthcare and education for all our people. Thank you for partnering with the Government of Jamaica to address some of the pressing social needs of our people, and to provide service to the most vulnerable among us,” she said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the work of the Comfort’s crew is a “fitting tribute” to the “long and abiding” relationship the Government and people of Jamaica and the United States continue to enjoy.

“Your humanitarian efforts have served to strengthen the special bond of friendship that our countries and people share. The promise of service to humankind is the noblest promise that one can make. Keeping that promise is the greatest gift that anyone can give,” she added.

Meanwhile, Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, described the mission as a “major feat,” which served to “cement the relationship between Jamaica and the United States…a relationship that has been tried, tested (and proven).”

United States Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Luis Moreno, described as “wonderful,” the manner in which the Comfort’s crew affected the many Jamaicans with whom they interacted, adding that “it really makes you proud to have been associated with this (endeavour).”

Ambassador Moreno also thanked the various stakeholders who assisted in facilitating the Comfort’s visit.

These include: the staff of the US Embassy in Kingston, as well as the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Government; WISYNCO; Lasco; Food for the Poor; the Rotary Clubs; and the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Jamaica.

For his part, Commanding Officer of the USNS  Comfort, Captain Sam Hancock, expressed gratitude and appreciation to all stakeholders who facilitated the crew’s visit.

“It has been an incredible collaboration of information, procedure and working relationships over the past week. Thank you for your support and work during this mission stop and our time here in Kingston, and we look forward to returning,” he said.