The Pope Francis Hospital ship carries medical equipment and assistance to communities affected by the corona virus along the Amazon river, the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) reports.
Brother Joel Sousa, from the ship’s medical team said, “This ship has performed miracles, bringing healing and hope to the inhabitants of the river.” With the current state of emergency, he said that there was even more need for work to save their lives.
The Pope Francis Hospital ship has sailed on the Amazon River for a year now, providing medical assistance and assistance to around 700,000 people, many of them from indigenous peoples – in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.
Experts warn that while deforestation in the Amazon rainforest continues, the lives of indigenous peoples are at greater risk because the death rate from the corona virus is twice that of the Brazilian population.
Their situation is exacerbated due to lack of access to proper medical care and great distance from the nearest intensive care unit.
In an interview published on the CELAM website, Brother Sousa said that the medical and logistical team on board had been reorganized to specifically combat the pandemic.
He said the crew was committed to raising awareness of Covid-19 and providing information to the local population and offering on-site first-stage outpatient care.
“We deal mainly with flu-like symptoms and mild cases of Covid-19,” he said, adding that “doctors carry out consultations, while we dedicate ourselves to the distribution of medicines.”
Among the crew of 32 meters long, there are 23 doctors, nurses, paramedics, chemists, and medical researchers. The ship has a consulting room, operating room, laboratory for testing and diagnosis, a pharmaceutical and vaccination center. These are equipped to do X-Rays, mammograms, echo-cardiograms and specialist medical visits such as ophthalmology and dentistry.
This initiative was founded and promoted by Bishop Bernardo Bahlmann of Obidos in the Brazilian state of northern Brazil, along with religious people from the Brotherhood of St. Francis of Assisi at Providence of God, who runs a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
Pope Francis sailed in July 2019 and has since provided much needed assistance and care to many cities and communities along the Amazon River.
Pope Francis donated an ultrasound engine and sent a message of support when the ship made its maiden voyage.
In a letter to the crew and promoters of the ship, the Pope reminded them that “the Church was called” to be a ‘field hospital’, welcoming everyone, without distinction, “and he noted that, with this initiative, the Church now also presents itself as” home sick on the water. “
“Like Jesus, who appears to be walking on water, calming storms and strengthening the faith of the disciples, this boat will bring spiritual comfort and calm to the concerns of men and women in need, who are left to their destiny,” the Pope wrote.
Funds for shipbuilding were provided by the State after being compensated for collective damage by Shell Chimica and BASF SA after an environmental accident that killed 60 people and caused considerable damage.
DIVE – https://prensacelam.org/
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