Friendship launches another hospital ship | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 15, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 15, 2012

Friendship launches another hospital ship


Guests aboard the Rongdhonu release pigeons to celebrate the ship's launch yesterday on the river Karnaphuli in Chittagong. Inset, Rongdhonu, docked at the Marine Workshop Ghat, is the third floating hospital of Friendship, an NGO working on healthcare among other areas. Photo: STAR

Aiming to provide free emergency healthcare to underprivileged people living in coastal areas, a floating hospital called Rongdhonu was launched yesterday at Marine Workshop Ghat in Chittagong.
Rongdhonu is the third and newest ship of Friendship, an organisation working on healthcare, education, sustainable economic development, disaster management, and infrastructure development in char and coastal areas of Bangladesh.
At the launching ceremony held at the ghat, French Ambassador to Bangladesh Michel Trinquier said Bangladesh is a land surrounded by rivers and a sea, so there are many opportunities to serve the marginalised people of coastal areas through such type of water-based initiatives.
Runa Khan, founder and executive director of Friendship, said the hospital ship would serve the coastal belt from Mongla to Teknaf, providing primary and secondary medical assistance to the coastal people who have very little or no access to basic health care facilities.
Runa said Friendship's other two hospital ships and 300 satellite clinics are serving people living in remote areas.
Earlier known as Rainbow Warrior II, Rongdhonu was adopted and renamed by Friendship. The ship was an integral part of Greenpeace's campaigns all around the world against nuclear testing and whaling.
The ship was handed over to Friendship on August 16, 2011 in Singapore and it was anchored in Chittagong Port on August 28 of that year to be converted into a floating hospital.
The hospital ship will be equipped with basic healthcare facilities covering ophthalmic, dental, women's health, and paediatric problems. Specialised health camps will also be organised periodically to provide secondary health services such as eye surgeries, dental surgeries and reconstructive surgeries.
UNDP Resident Representative Neal Walker, among others, also spoke at the programme.

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