The Emirates Friendship Hospital Ship, a charity venture run by registered NGO, Friendship, and funded by the Emirates Airline Foundation was recently officially inaugurated in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Emirates Airline Foundation, the airline’s onboard charity initiative that funds projects around the world in aid of underprivileged children, financed the twin-hulled vessel, granting in excess of US$750,000 to Friendship. In addition, the Foundation will fund the annual operating expenses of the vessel, estimated to be US$150,000, according to an airline statement.
Emirates has also signed a management contract for the ship with Friendship. The ship will ply approximately 250 km along the River Bhramaputra north of the country and serve over three million people living on more than 400 small islands and on the river banks.
The well-appointed mobile hospital ship is equipped with chambers for doctors, primary health care facilities, two operating theatres, two eight-bed wards, paediatric and gyaencology units, a dental room, a pathological laboratory, an X-ray room and an ophthalmic room. A dispensary onboard will distribute free medicine and the registration room can accommodate up to 24 staff and eight visiting doctors. The deck of the ship can house 30 to 40 patients in an emergency.
Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “This is the Emirates Airline Foundation’s flagship project in Bangladesh and we hope to be able to do a lot more in the years to come with the kind support of our customers who donate generously onboard.”
This is the second such ship that is coming into operation in Bangladesh.
The other existing project, the Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital Ship, also receives volunteer doctors from all over the world sponsored by the Emirates Airline Foundation. These doctors donate their free time and holidays to work on the ship in addition to providing health education to the masses.