Chinese Ship Brings Medical Services to Foreign Navies

A Chinese naval hospital ship has begun providing medical services to foreign escort fleets in the Gulf of Aden.

This is the first time the “Peace Ark” has begun providing medical services for foreign ships in the pirates-plagued waters.

CRI’s Lucy Du has the details.

On a misty morning, 8 Dutchmen got aboard the “Peace Ark” after minutes of voyage on a small speed vessel in a rough sea.

They came from the nearby HNLMS Van Speijk frigate, a Dutch anti-piracy warship operating in the Gulf of Aden.

This is their first time to get aboard the Chinese hospital ship, which is currently in the Gulf of Aden on a medical service mission.

The 8 Dutchmen are also the first group of foreign naval staff the “Peace Ark” receives in its current stay in the Gulf of Aden.

Hans Guldie, a sailor from the Dutch team, has been suffering from toothache for over a week. He could not get any effective treatment as the Dutch warship has no dentists or dental facilities.

After getting aboard the “Peace Ark”, the Dutch sailor came straight to Zhang He, a dentist on the Chinese hospital ship.

After a brief discussion with the sailor in English, the Chinese dentist discovered the problem and gave him treatment.

“One of his teeth had apical infection. He felt the pain to such an extent that he couldn’t fall asleep at night. Today I gave him a root canal treatment and extirpated the pulp of the problematic tooth to address the root cause of his toothache.”

Guildie says he’s happy to have his toothache treated on the “Peace Ark”.

“I’m very happy! I want to thank you everybody for the help. My tooth now is OK. I got treated. I feel no pain at all. I hope it will be OK after (later). This is a much bigger experience than I expected. I will never forget it!”

Meanwhile, the 8-member Dutch team has had a tour around the Chinese hospital ship and conducted a symposium with Chinese medical personnel sharing each side’s medical expertise and experiences.

Colonel Christiaan Hoff, a general surgeon onboard the Dutch warship, says the arrival of the Chinese navy hospital ship is very helpful for meeting the medical needs of the multinational naval staff in the Gulf of Aden.

“Not one country can solve the problem around here with the piracy and the unsafety at sea by itself. We all have to work together. In the medical field in our operation we bring a warship to fight piracy. I myself am a doctor. So I bring some medical treatments to my ship. But my possibilities on the warship are very limited. And then it’s really good to know that there is a real hospital like this at sea. So I think collaboration is everything in the medical field and in the military field as well. It’s very important.”

Currently thousands of foreign naval personnel aboard about 20 warships are operating in the Gulf of Aden to ensure the safety of marine transportation in the pirates-plagued waters.

The “Peace Ark” hospital ship is expected to provide any necessary medical services to them at their request.

The “Peace Ark” has over 100 medical staff members onboard.

It carries more than 24-hundred sets of medical equipment with 300 hospital beds and 8 operating rooms.

Leaving its home port in China early June, the ships is scheduled to stay in the Gulf of Aden until the end of July.

After that, it will leave for Pakistan to continue its four-month overseas voyage to provide medical services for local residents.

For CRI, I’m Lucy Du.


Original Article