Residents engaging services at the Antioch Baptist Church. SKNIS Photo.

Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis are urged to take full advantage of the free medical and dental services being offered by the staff of the USNS Comfort, which is carrying out a five-month deployment to the Caribbean and Central America and currently in St. Kitts as part of the United States Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Ensuring Promise initiative.

Services provided include basic medical evaluation and treatment, preventative medicine, optometry screenings, dental screenings and treatment and many more, according to SOUTHCOM. The medical mission is being carried out at the Antioch Baptist Church in Basseterre and the community centre in St. Pauls, with advanced procedures such as surgery to be performed on board the USNS Comfort.

“To the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, we do once more encourage those who are so minded to avail themselves of the services that are being offered,” Minister of State with responsibility for Health, the Honourable Wendy Phipps said during an opening ceremony Saturday. “It is being done out of goodwill on the part of the United States Navy, and on the part of collaboration as it relates to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The local leg of the medical mission runs Oct. 5-10. Minister Phipps pledged the government’s full support of the mission and thanked the U.S. team for the collaboration and cooperation in what is expected to be “a positive mission that benefits the lives” of nationals and residents.

Saturday’s opening ceremony was also attended by Governor-General His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, other members of the Cabinet and senior government officials.

“The mission reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership, and solidarity with the people of the Americas. The USNS Comfort operation is part of the Caribbean 2020 Strategy to increase the security, prosperity and well-being of the people of the United States and the Caribbean,” according to SOUTHCOM.