PNG people benefit from visiting US hospital ship

4:02 pm on 14 July 2015

More than 6,000 people in Papua New Guinea have received medical treatment during a two week aid mission by a US hospital ship.

The United States Hospital Ship, USNS Mercy, was recently in Bougainville

The United States Hospital Ship, USNS Mercy, was recently in Bougainville Photo: AFP

The USNS Mercy is part of the Pacific Partnership mission to provide humanitarian assistance and to help communities prepare for disasters across the Pacific.

During its 14 day stop in Bouganville and East New Britain the crew also provided 130 surgical procedures.

Vets on board cared for 140 dogs and cats, and treated more than 2500 farm animals.

The commanding officer of the medical treatment facility, Melanie Merrick, says they've also been holding talks on women's health and violence.

"When you think about a disaster, it effects everyone, but the women and the children need that extra support, that extra ability to recover and so that's a great part of the initiative. And as we move through the Pacific countries talking about preparing for disasters that's one thing we want people to keep in mind; is how do you support your women and children because that's the future."

Melanie Merrick says the boat is now off to the Philippines for a month, followed by Vietnam.

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