SURINAME -- A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft transported a large mobile field hospital from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, to Suriname July 16 that will be donated to the country’s Ministry of Health to help the South American nation deal with COVID-19 and other health emergencies.
The United States will officially hand over the hospital, valued at $745,000, to Surinamese leaders during a ceremony Friday.
The field hospital was purchased by U.S. Southern Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program or HAP. The program has provided ongoing assistance to Caribbean, Central American and South American nations to help in the fight against COVID-19.
The field hospital is configured for 40 patient beds but can house up to 70. It will support health and public-safety professionals caring for patients, saving lives and mitigating suffering. The modular hospital is equipped to operate autonomously with two diesel generators and nine air conditioning units.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, Suriname has had 24,272 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 611 deaths, reported to WHO. As of July 16, a total of 218,183 vaccine doses have been administered.
In addition to the field hospital donation, SOUTHCOM has facilitated the donation of $600,000 worth of COVID-19 response equipment and personal protective equipment to Suriname in the past year.
Overall, the U.S. government has committed more than $260 million to the region to support ongoing COVID-19 responses.
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, SOUTHCOM’s HAP has funded and facilitated the donation of 528 projects totaling more than $73.9 million in 28 Latin American and Caribbean nations. The donation projects have included packages of first-responder resources, medical supplies and equipment, freezers for vaccine storage, and mobile field hospitals.
COVID-19 assistance projects are funded under HAP to support requests from partner nations for supplies and equipment needed to respond to the virus outbreak, treat infected patients and prevent additional exposures. The U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development review the projects and concur with their proposed assistance before they are approved.