Benin, Liberia (ANS) – Mercy Ships this week unveiled 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, said that the Global Mercy is scheduled to begin service in Africa in 2021 and relayed 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.
The Global Mercy, is the world’s largest purpose-built charity hospital ship capable of more than doubling the charity’s surgical and training capacity. Over her 50 year expected lifespan, more than 150,000 lives are estimated to be changed onboard through surgery alone!
The 174-meter, 37,000-ton ship will have six operating rooms and house over 600 volunteers from around the globe representing many disciplines including surgeons, maritime crew, cooks, teachers, electricians, the host staff and more. The ship will also feature a 682-seat auditorium, student academy, gymnasium, café, shop and library – all of which have been designed to accommodate up to 950 crew onboard when docked in port.
The vision to transform lives by bringing hope and healing has guided Mercy Ships since the beginning. With each ship, lives are transformed in the nations we serve. But the need is ongoing.
The Global Mercy’s hospital deck will be ready to carry out a wide range of surgeries like maxillofacial and plastic-reconstructive surgery to address tumour removal and debilitating burn contractures, cleft lip and palate repair, orthopaedics, cataract removal, and obstetric fistula repair.
This expansion and growth will facilitate more: more surgeries for those in need; more health professionals trained and mentored; MORE LIVES CHANGED!