Peace Ark here on a peace mission of free medical service
NUKU’ALOFA-August 14, 2018: 5am (Nuku’alofa Times): The Chinese navy hospital ship Ark Peace docked at Vuna Wharf here in Nuku’alofa yesterday for a week-long humanitarian medical visit, offering medical service to the people of Tonga.
This is the second time for Ark Peace to visit Tonga after her first successful visit 4 years ago.
During the visit, Rear Admiral Guan Bailin and Rear Admiral Qin Wei, commanders of Mission Harmony – 2018, will pay courtesy calls on both the senior military officers and government officials of Tonga.
The Ark Peace will offer free medical services to the local people, members of the Chinese institutions and overseas Chinese as well.
She will also dispatch medical teams to local hospitals, communities and an ‘Eua island for medical services, to maximize the benefit to the local patients. Men and women in uniform from Ark Peace will also conduct cultural entertainment with local teachers and students and play friendly football match with those from the Tongan armed forces.
Hospital ship Ark Peace set sail from Zhoushan, China on June 28 to carry out Mission Harmony – 2018. She has previously paid successful visit to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji, and Tonga is the fourth stop of the current mission.
The Chinese Embassy here in Nuku’alofa said this mission is the concrete practice of carrying forward international humanitarianism and disseminating the concept of peace, development, cooperation and win-win as well, which will be conducive to enhance the friendly relations between China and Tonga and the two peoples.
Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika and Chinese Ambassador Mr Wang Baodong welcomed Rear Admiral Guan Bailin and his crew at the wharf.
Rear-Admiral Guan thanked the Tonga Government, military, Chinese Embassy and community for the warm welcome.
“Ark Peace is an old friend of Tonga after visiting three-years ago. We are still impressed by your unique natural beauty, kindness and hospitable people. This visit is like a joyful get together of old friends,” he said.
The Chinese Ambassador said on the occasion of jointly cerebrating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the visit by Ark Peace was of great significance.
“I believe the visit will help strengthen the mutually-beneficial cooperation in health, military and other fields between our two countries, enhance the friendship between our two peoples and promote the greater achievements in the development of the China-Tonga Strategic Partnership.”
The ship brings 120 medical personnel to provide medical services with consultation, physical examinations, diagnosis and treatment on board.
This started yesterday.
Doctors and nurses from Vaiola Hospital will also be on board to take part in providing the medical services.
The Ark Peace is a large maritime medical platform designed and built in China. She was commissioned in December 2008 with pennant number 866.
The ship boasts a length of 178 meters, a beam of 24 meters and an air draught of 35.5 meters. She is in possession of 8 levels and a full displacement of 14,300 tons. The 4,000㎡ hospital onboard is separated into five main areas respectively for casualty transfer, triage, outpatient, inpatient and evacuation.
- What does the hospital ship’s name signify?
Ark Peace is a ship of peace, a ship of life and a ship of friendship as well.
- What are the major tasks of the hospital ship?
Ark Peace primarily assumes the missions of treating and transferring the casualty at sea during wartime, and during peacetime, carrying out international humanitarian medical services, providing emergency medical rescue in the event of major disasters, conducting military medical exchanges and cooperation with foreign countries as well as offering medical services to inhabitants and military personnel on islands. Thus the ship has been praised as the Ark of Life at sea.
- What are the features of the hospital ship?
Ark Peace is characterized by five items as follow.
First, outstanding ocean-going rescue capability: Ark Peace has outstanding seaworthiness and maneuverability with an endurance of 30 days and nights, 12-grade wind-proof capability and maximum speed of 20 knots. She boasts great ocean-going capability and is capable of conducting complicated surgical operations at rough sea.
Second, diversified methods of casualty transfer: Ark Peace is equipped with two landing craft, two high-speed craft and six enclosed lifeboats. A rescue helicopter is also available onboard. She has flexible transfer capabilities by means of hanging basket, gangway, alongside transfer gear and helicopter as well, which ensure that the sick and wounded can be effectively and expeditiously received, transferred and evacuated.
Third, fully-equipped medical facilities: Ark Peace boasts 8 clean operating rooms, 300 sickbeds, 7 medical staff offices, 8 nurse stations and 18 consulting rooms, incl. severe burn wards, ICU, DR room, CT room, dental clinic, special examination room, blood preparation room, laboratory, medical information center and so on with 249 types of medical equipment (totaling 2,666 sets).
Fourth, advanced supporting systems: the ship is furnished with telemedicine system, medical LAN system and video monitoring system, therefore, consultation & treatment and surgical operation at sea can be instructed real time by doctors at hospitals ashore. The medical area adopts a separate clean air conditioning system. The medical waste and sewage disposal system can incinerate and pack solid wastes, filter and purify medical sewage to meet the requirements of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea.
Fifth, capable medical staff: Medical staff are arranged as per different missions, covering surgery, internal medicine, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, stomatology and traditional Chinese medicine as well. All doctors, who are in possession of attending physician qualification and abundant clinical experiences, are from the teaching hospitals affiliated to Naval Medical University of the Chinese navy.
- Where is the home port of the hospital ship?
It is located in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province in China.
- How many times has the hospital ship carried out Mission Harmony?
This is the 7th time for Ark Peace to carry out Mission Harmony medical services. Previously, she has ever been to 5 countries in Asia and Africa in 2010, 4 countries in Latin America in 2011, 8 countries in Asia in 2013, 4 countries in the South Pacific in 2014 as well as 8 countries in the rim of the Pacific in 2015 and 8 countries in Asia and Africa in 2017 for visit and medical services.
- How will the hospital ship provide free medical services?
Ark Peace will offer free consultation and treatment (including diagnosis, examination, surgical operation as well as inpatient and medicine) to local people onboard the hospital ship as the major platform. In the meantime, on-site medical teams will be deployed at military and civilian hospitals, barracks, schools, communities, villages, orphanage and home for the elders as well for free medical services, so as to benefit more local people.
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