Chinese hospital ship, Peace Ark concludes its mission in Tanzania

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s hospital ship Peace Ark has concluded its humanitarian mission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital.

The ship arrived in Dar es Salaam on Nov. 19, the second in seven years, on a mission of providing free medical services to local residents. During its eight-day stay in Tanzania, a total of 6,441 patients were treated by the Chinese doctors.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli made a visit to the Peace Ark on Sunday to see off the Chinese doctors and navy soldiers and thanked them for treating more than 6,000 patients. Magufuli said the move by the Chinese government to send the Peace Ark to Tanzania has further improved the relationship between the two countries.

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.

The ship had visited Djibouti, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Congo,  Angola and Mozambique before arriving in Tanzania, as part of the Navy’s Harmonious Mission-2017 deployment.

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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