Chinese Navy's hospital ship brings advanced medical services to Indonesia

Chinese Navy's hospital ship Peace Ark has been operating in Jakarta, Indonesia, since arriving last Thursday, providing free medical care to locals.

The service has been welcomed by the local residents as more than 700 patients have visited the hospital for the first day. Back in 2013, the Peace Ark visited Indonesia to provide medical services for the first time.

Invited by the Indonesian military, the ship is slated to stay for seven days from November 11-17. Over 100 Chinese medical workers are onboard, with 14 clinical departments and a pharmacy, as well as a helicopter for emergency medical use. Surgical treatment and hospitalization are also part of the services available.

The hospital ship also plans to carry out online seminars with local hospitals about patient cases, as well as online video consultations on rare diseases.

Equipped with cutting-edge medical technologies, the Peace Ark is a large mobile hospital at sea with great advantages to serving residents on the islands or those affected by disasters who might lack access to medical services.

The visit to Jakarta is the ship's 10th mission, called Mission Harmony-2022, since it entered service in 2008. This is also the first time the Chinese Navy dispatched a ship for a visit to another country since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

The Peace Ark docks in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, November 10, 2022. /CFP
The Peace Ark docks in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, November 10, 2022. /CFP

The Peace Ark docks in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, November 10, 2022. /CFP

The hospital ship has years of experience in providing medical services for other countries and regions. In 2010, the ship conducted the first naval medical exercise in the Gulf of Aden, which boosted the Navy's overall capability of medical treatment in the open sea. In the same year, it made its first overseas visit to Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles and Bangladesh to provide medical services.

In 2013, the ambulance helicopter on the ship made medical visits to local people in foreign islands. The helicopters also conducted drills in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time both day and night in 2017.

The ship was dispatched to provide the first-time humanitarian aid overseas to the Philippines in 2013 when typhoon "Haiyan" hit the country. The ship hospital had treated 2,208 typhoon victims and performed 44 surgeries. The ship also made 139 lifeboat trips for rescue and transported 718 people by helicopter.

The Peace Ark has sailed 240,000 miles over the past 14 years, serving more than 230,000 people in over 40 countries and regions.

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