Port Blair, Oct 8 (UNI) The Indian Naval Hospital Ship (INHS) Dhanvantari, the premier service hospital of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), here today celebrated 33 years of its service to the islands.
A number of activities, including ceremonial divisions, cultural programmes and Barakhana for all members of Dhanvantari, their families and the patients were undertaken to mark the occasion.
''This is a proud moment for us,'' Lieutenant Commander A Vidyasagar, the Public Relations Officer of the ANC, told UNI.
Defence Wives Welfare Association president Indira Rajkumar distributed sweets among the patients of the hospital.
INHS Dhanvantari had its humble beginning with a 24-bedded hospital in 1974. Later, its capacity was augmented to 107 beds with all basic specialities like internal medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Ophthalmology, ENT, Radiology and Pathology.
The hospital plays a pivotal role in providing quality medical care to the Army personnel and their families, ex-servicemen as well as civilians.
The hospital also acts as a referral centre for the non-medical units stationed as far as Campbell Bay, Diglipur and Car Nicobar.
The hospital played a pivotal role during the destructive tsunami in December, 2004, by providing emergency medical services round the clock in conjunction with the GB Pant hospital.
The hospital despatched numerous disaster relief teams with medicines and other essential equipment, who went out to the various islands for disaster management.
INHS Dhanvantari has been actively taking part in various community outreach programmes organised from time to time by the ANC, including medical and surgical camps.
''INHS Dhanvantari, as the medical arm of the ANC, has kept the flag of the Armed Forces flying high in these islands and played a benevolent social role,'' Mr Vidyasagar said.