Mercy Ships the international humanitarian organisation has 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, announced 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,” commented Rosa Whitaker, President for Mercy Ships.
The Global Mercy is a modern, state-of-the-art hospital ship, equipped with six surgical operating rooms. She will also provide a specialised training platform for African surgeons, obstetricians, dentists and anesthesiologists, including a simulation laboratory for surgical and post-operative care.
The 174m vessel is an adaptation of Stena Lines new ro-pax design and is the largest hospital ship in the world. It has six operating rooms and accommodation for 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.