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Mother Teresa Opens a Floating Clinic in Bangladesh

April 20, 1995

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) _ In France, the 125-foot barge was little more than scrap metal. In Bangladesh on Thursday, Mother Teresa christened it as a floating hospital.

``Love each other and pray together for peace,″ she said as she declared open the hospital on the Sitalakhya River, 10 miles from the capital of Dhaka.

The first patient attended to was an old woman who walked more than two miles to seek treatment for arthritis.

Yves Marre, president of the Paris-based Association of Friendship, piloted the discarded barge from his hometown of Messey, France, to Bangladesh last year with the help of friends. The 3 1/2-month journey took them through the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, the Red and Arabian seas and the Bay of Bengal.

Named ``Friendship Hospital,″ the 15-feet-wide barge will sail to other cities and towns in Bangladesh after being fully equipped and stocked with medicines, said Mosharraf Hossain, chief of the Bangladesh chapter of Rotary International, which sponsored the project.

Mother Teresa, who arrived in Dhaka from Calcutta, India, on Wednesday for a five-day visit, will also open a rehabilitation center for the elderly during her stay.

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