China’s Peace Ark naval hospital ship arrives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s hospital ship, Peace Ark (866) arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on morning Nov. 19, for an eight-day visit.

The visit is part of the Navy’s Harmonious Mission-2017, a humanitarian mission of providing free medical services to local residents.

This is the second time in seven years, Peace Ark is visiting Tanzania.

At the welcome ceremony held at Dar es Salaam port, Task Group Commander of Peace Ark Guan Bailin said the visiting crew will carry out free medical services, humanitarian assistance, and conduct medical training to consolidate and promote friendly relations and deepen professional exchanges between China and Tanzania.

Tanzania Navy Commander Richard Mutayoba Makanzo thanked China for sending the Peace Ark to Tanzania again.

A total of 115 health care workers are on board the ship, mostly from the Naval Medical University, of which 60 percent have senior titles.

Prior to Tanzania, the ship had visited Djibouti, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Congo,  Angola and Mozambique.

In the years between 2010 and 2015, the Peace Ark paid visits to Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. The ship has traversed 31 countries and more than 120,000 people have received free onboard medical and humanitarian services.

About Type 920 Hospital Ship:

The Type 920 Hospital Ship is a class of hospital ship in the People’s Liberation Army Navy of the People’s Republic of China. It consists of only one ship, 866 Daishan Dao. Daishan Dao is also known as Peace Ark (Heping Fangzhou) during peace time.

The ship, with a pennant number 866, is assigned to the East Sea Fleet and based out of Hubei.

The state of the art ship has been constructed in a bid to engage swiftly in humanitarian response to disasters around the world. The ship is 178 m in length, 24 m in width and displaces approximately 14,000 tons. It has a crew complement of 381.

The ship, with a total area of 4,000 square meters, has 500 beds, 35 ICUs, 12 operating theatres, and the capacity to accommodate 60 major surgeries a day – about as many as a large hospital in Beijing. She has treated over 120,000 people across from the globe during her circumnavigation.

The ship is unarmed and painted white with red crosses to conform to the Geneva Convention criteria for a civilian hospital ship; firing upon it is potentially a war crime under international law.

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