The international humanitarian non-governmental organization strives to increase access to safe and quality surgical care in Africa.
Mercy Ships has announced the unveiling of its new hospital ship, the Global Mercy, which will join the Africa Mercy, in service in Africa since 2007. Dr. Pierre M’Pelé, Director of the Mercy Ships Africa Bureau, announces that the Global Mercy is scheduled to begin service in Africa in 2021 and relays the cry from the hearts of Africans who say “Thank you to Mercy Ships.”
Every year, 16.9 million people around the world die due to lack of access to surgical care and 93% of sub-Saharan Africa still lack this access. Between 1990 and 2020, Mercy Ships has performed more than 100,000 free surgical procedures, trained more than 40,000 medical professionals, renovated more than 100 health facilities, and implemented more than 1,000 community projects in Africa. The Global Mercy will more than double the impact of Mercy Ships on the African continent.
Since 1990, Mercy Ships has been bringing hope and healing to the African people and has conducted more than 30 humanitarian missions in 14 African countries (Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Africa, Togo).
“As COVID-19 threatens the stability of already fragile healthcare systems globally, the need to provide accessible, life-saving surgical care is greater than ever. The Global Mercy represents a unique call to support the strengthening of healthcare systems in Africa on behalf of the most vulnerable,” comments Rosa Whitaker, President for Mercy Ships.
A modern, state-of-the-art hospital ship, the Global Mercy is equipped with six surgical operating rooms. She will also provide a specialized training platform for African surgeons, obstetricians, dentists and anesthesiologists, including a simulation laboratory for surgical and post-operative care.
At 174 meters in length and weighing 37,000 tons, the ship will host a capacity of over 600 professional volunteers from around the world representing a variety of disciplines, including surgeons, mariners, cooks, teachers, electricians, reception staff and many more. Spaces have been designed to host up to 950 crew and guests, including a 682-seat auditorium, a school, a gymnasium, a pool, a café, a store and a library when the ship is docked.
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building, and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 developing countries, providing services valued at more than $1.7 billion and directly benefiting more than 2.8 million people. The ships are crewed by volunteers from over 50 nations, with an average of over 2,000 volunteers each year. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills. With 16 national offices and an Africa Bureau, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations. For more information, visit https://mercyships.africa.