21 Aug 2014

China medical ship treats more than 4,000 Tongans

3:29 pm on 21 August 2014

The Peace Ark Naval Hospital ship from China has spent a week in Tonga, providing free medical services to more than 4,000 patients and performing 39 surgeries.

The ship brought 132 medical personnel, who worked alongside Tongan doctors and nurses at Vuna Wharf in Nuku'alofa.

The Tonga director of Health, Siale Akauola, says a variety of surgeries were carried out, including a bullet being removed from a man who had been shot in the United States some time ago.

"They were able to provide scans, x-rays, dental work, dermatology, opthalmology. They had an orthopedic surgery who came to the hospital, general surgical care stuff, they did scoping, they did some endoscopy on some patients, removed lumps and bumps on a lot of people."

Dr Siale Akauola says the Tongan team got exposed to different medical options availiable.

The ship is expected to arrive in Fiji tomorrow, and will also provide medical care to Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea in the coming weeks.