Ark Peace departs after 8-day goodwill visit to Grenada

Ark Peace docked in St George’s, the capital of Grenada

On 9 October local time, the Chinese naval hospital ship Ark Peace left Grenada for Dominica, the next stop of the current mission after wrapping up her 8-day goodwill visit to Grenada.

Around 10 am, Ark Peace slowly departed St George, the capital of Grenada. At the farewell ceremony hosted by the Grenadian side on the pier, Grenadian Minister of Health Nickolas Steele, Chinese Ambassador to Grenada Zhao Yongcheng, Chinese embassy staff as well as overseas Chinese and representatives of the Chinese enterprises were involved in the ceremony to bid farewell.

Chinese embassy staff, overseas Chinese, representatives of the Chinese
enterprises and local people bid farewell with a banner

During the visit, the medical service at the hospital onboard was carried out efficiently and orderly by taking measures, such as patient pre-screening, joint security check and waiting area placed at the cruise ship terminal, and by regulating triage and waiting patients real-time. Eleven medical teams were also deployed at local hospitals, community health centers, youth cultural and recreational center and the national prison for consultation and treatment. In particular, a medical team composed of 10 people from assorted departments was dispatched to Carriacou Island, undergoing a 2-day medical trip by overcoming such difficulties as multiple personnel transfers and rough condition, therefore, benefits to more local people were maximised.

During the medical services in Grenada, Ark Peace provided consultation and treatment for a total of 7,275 person times, auxiliary examinations, such as CT and DR, for 2,764 person times, physical examination for 49 people and surgical operation for 15 cases and admitted 17 inpatients. The medical and nursing experts from Ark Peace and 40 Grenadian nurses conducted exchanges on nursing technique by demonstrating intraosseous infusion, newly-born baby’s touching and so on, which was highly evaluated.

On behalf of both the government and people of Grenada, Minister of Health Steele extended appreciations to Ark Peace for the second visit. “Ark Peace has brought health, peace and cooperation, which is the need of the Caribbean and the expectations of the world as well. The ties between Grenada and China will become the example of nation-to-nation relations,” said the minister.

“Nation-to-nation ties are based upon the intimacy between people and people. Ark Peace came to visit Grenada from afar, paving the way for friendship between the Chinese and Grenadian peoples and fulfilling a good deed in the history of good-will exchange between two nations, therefore, both exchange and cooperation between two nations have shown more dynamics.”

From 4 to 5 October, Ark Peace’s medical team was deployed at Carriacou Island for medical service. “We are very thankful to the Chinese military doctors for their coming to the island for the second time to offer medical service.” Member of Parliament and Minister of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs & Local Government & Legal Affairs, Hon. Kendra Mathurine-Stewart, hugged members of the medical team and said excitedly.

“It’s my lucky day today.” 45-year-old Ms B told everyone after treatment. When Ark Peace was in Grenada in 2015, she was treated with traditional Chinese medicine and the pain on the shoulders and neck was greatly relieved. After learning that doctors from Ark Peace would come to the island again for the medical service, she got up early and hurried to the medical spot. After Doctor Chen Bingbing underwent acupuncture and cupping for her, she felt much better and gave a hug to the Chinese military doctor.

42-year-old Mr A, a building worker, fell down on the construction site several days ago, resulting in fracture on the right foot. As there is no orthopedist on the island, the surgeon only treated him with pain relief and detumescence. For further treatment, he must transfer to St George’s, which would be an unaffordable cost for him.

Doctors Zhang Fan and Ge Ruiliang fixing Mr A’s fractured foot

The medical team from Ark Peace rendered hope to Mr A. After check-up, Doctor Zhang Fan found that the bone would be displaced very soon if the fractured foot was not to be fixed immediately, and that dysfunction seriously affecting walk would be produced. After joint consultation, Doctors Zhang Fan and Ge Ruiliang were determined to adopt conservative treatment, and they restored the fracture and fixed it with parget for him. Mr A was very excited with tears and said, “thank you, Chinese military doctors for your love to the island.”

“Although this is an old outpatient card, yet it’s something like the spice of Grenada, smelling the taste of the tropics. This is the great love from the Chinese people to the people of Grenada.” 55-year-old Mr C, a local worker, proudly showed his outpatient card used when he was onboard Ark Peace for the medical treatment in 2015. When Mr C was suffering from injured knee anadesma and unstable arthrosis 3 years ago, Ark Peace was in Grenada for the first visit, therefore, local doctors recommended him to Ark Peace for treatment. The doctor onboard treated him with arthrosis puncture and liquid extraction, and gave him protective kit and medicine, with which Mr C was very satisfied. He said that he was still clearly reminiscent of the treatment situations and the doctor’s image. “For Ark Peace’s second visit, Grenada is entirely wild with joy.” Mr C was particularly excited, and he embarked upon Ark Peace again for further consultation.

Orthopedist Fu Qiwei carefully checked up Mr C and found that the recovery of his knee’s stability was good but that recovery training must be continued. Fu Qiwei not only meticulously instructed Mr C how to train but also repeatedly told him the items to be minded. Mr C raised his thumb for praise and gratitude. “Though I cannot meet with the doctor who treated me 3 years ago, yet all Chinese military doctors are the same and they are excellent.”

A nurse from Ark Peace demonstrating aseptic techniques

On the evening of 5 October, all the seats at the triage area onboard Ark Peace were occupied. The nursing staff from Ark Peace and 40 nurses from Grenada General Hospital and Nursing School of St George’s University joined together to conduct China-Grenada exchange on nursing technique demonstration.

The nursing staff from Ark Peace demonstrated one after another intraosseous infusion, aseptic technique, defibrillation skill and newly-born baby’s touching as well, which were commended and applauded by their Grenadian counterparts. Especially, when demonstrating newly-born baby’s touching, Huang Feifei and Wang Jingping, 2 nurses from Gynecology & Obstetrics, showed the essentials and key steps for touching newly-born baby by means of baby’s model and music and children’s song, which was so attractive that most Grenadian nurses went forward to learn the skill.

The nursing staff from both sides also exchanged views on nurse’s normalised training, ICU technique and midwife’s training. In the end, the Grenadian nurses toured the medical area and facility rooms onboard. “As nurses, we share the same mission, that is, to disseminate the spirit of humanity, love and dedication as well, which is also a precious gift presented by Ark Peace to the nurses of Grenada,” Mrs Solomon, Chair of the Nursing School of St George’s University said sincerely.

On the evening of 8 October, 3 special guests, who are Grenadian Minister of Health Steele’s parents and brother, came aboard Ark Peace. “As we know that you will be leaving tomorrow, we should come aboard to visit you anyhow.” On the evening prior to the departure day of Ark Peace, Grenadian Minister of Health Steele’s parents exclusively came aboard to extend their gratitude and presented the local handmade chocolate to the medical staff.

“My father was from Fujian, China and used to be a crew member. He finally settled and lived in Grenada following a lot of hardship.” As overseas Chinese, Steele’s mother said excitedly, “I had a surgery on my toes in 2015 and now the recovery is quite good. Over the past 3 years, I always had a wish, that is, to take a look at the ship and the people from my father’s native land once again so that I could show my regards to the Chinese military doctors onboard. Today, my wish finally comes true. I am proud of my Chinese bloodline, which is full of our ancestors’ spiritual power and tenacity.”

“I still remember the days when I was surgically operated and admitted as an inpatient 3 years ago. As I am concerned, this is a good memory.” Together with her husband and younger son, this mother with Chinese bloodline pleasantly visited the outpatient and wards. She said emotionally, “I sincerely wish that peoples of both Grenada and China could join hand in hand and maintain friendship generation after generation.”

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Grenada

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