PLA Navy, on humanitarian mission, visits Sierra Leone

China Daily | 2017-09-23 06:59

PLA Navy, on humanitarian mission, visits Sierra Leone

A nurse from China draws blood as part of an examination of a boy on the Peace Ark on Sept 21,2017. The Chinese Navy's hospital ship Peace Ark arrives on Tuesday in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on an eight-day mission to deliver free medical services to 2,000 people in the West African nation. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese Navy's hospital ship Peace Ark is providing humanitarian medical services to the people of Sierra Leone during an ongoing port call in the West African nation, Chinese media reported.

The vessel arrived on Tuesday in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital and largest city, which is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. Medical personnel began examining and treating local residents immediately, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The visit marks the first time the ship has visited West Africa, Xinhua said.

Each day hundreds of Sierra Leone residents line up outside Peace Ark waiting for their turn to be diagnosed by Chinese doctors, the report said, noting that at least 2,000 residents would receive medical services during the ship's eight-day stay in Freetown.

Sierra Leone is the second destination for Peace Ark in its "Harmonious Mission 2017" tour. The country, which gained independence from the United Kingdom in April 1961, remains one of the least developed in the world.

The Peace Ark left a naval port in China's Zhejiang province on July 26 to carry out its 155-day goodwill mission.

It docked in Djibouti from August 23 to 31 and treated thousands of locals, Xinhua said, and made stops in Spain and Sri Lanka for resupply.

It carries a total of 115 doctors and nurses, most of them from the People Liberation Army's Naval Medical University and Navy General Hospital.

One of the world's largest hospital ships, the Peace Ark is 178 meters long. It has eight surgical operation rooms and 300 patient beds. Since it was commissioned in 2008, the vessel has visited 31 countries, providing free medical services to tens of thousands of people.

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