Joint Base Charleston donates mobile field hospital to Suriname

Charleston County News

U.S. Air Force personnel and Surinamese locals unload field hospital equipment at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport, Suriname, July 16, 2021.The portable field hospital, valued at $745,000, was donated by U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) to the Suriname Ministry of Health to augment their overwhelmed medical capacity brought on by COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn White)

SURINAME, SOUTH AMERICA (WCBD) – A large mobile field hospital was transported on Friday from Joint Base Charleston (JBC) to Suriname, South America as the country continues its fight against COVID-19.

According to the World Bank, Suriname had a population of 586,634 in 2020. According to the Pan American Health Organization, that Suriname has had 24, 272 COVID-19 cases and 611 deaths. 218,183 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of July 16.

Officials hope that the hospital will “augment [Suriname’s] overwhelmed medical capacity brought on by COVID-19.”

A JBC C-17 delivered the hospital, which has a capacity of between 40 and 70 beds and is equipped with two diesel generators and nine air conditioning units, to “support health and public-safety professionals caring for patients, saving lives, and mitigating suffering.”

The hospital has an estimated cost of $745,000 and was paid for by the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP). The hospital is one of 528 donations HAP has funded and facilitated in 28 Latin American and Caribbean nations since March of 2020.

SOUTHCOM has also “facilitated the donation of $600,000 worth of COVID-19 response equipment and personal protective equipment to Suriname in the past year.”

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