ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 27 — When you think of charitable healthcare services, a ship doesn’t typically come to mind. But in the last 35 years Mercy Ships has delivered more than $1 billion worth of free healthcare to more than 2.35 million people in 54 developing nations from its floating hospital.
Built specifically for medical missions, the 499-foot Africa Mercy includes six state-of-the-art operating rooms, as well as intensive care and bed space for up to 78 patients. It can house a staff of 484 including highly skilled surgeons, specialists and other medical personnel who volunteer their services. “60 Minutes” recently aired a feature that showcased the life-changing efforts of Africa Mercy’s talented and devoted medical professionals.
The goal of Mercy Ships is “to transcend borders to transform lives.” The medical crew of the Africa Mercy performs up to 7,000 procedures each year, including cataract removal/lens implant, tumor removal, cleft lip and palate reconstruction, orthopedic operations and obstetric fistula repair.
A flexible digital X-ray system from Quantum Medical Imaging (a division of Carestream Health) performs a wide variety of exams—including chest exams to screen for tuberculosis or assess congenital heart defects, to imaging of spine and extremities for orthopedic conditions and abdominal exams for kidney or gall stones.
During a recent 10-month port visit to Sierra Leone, volunteer professionals performed 3,300 life-changing general surgeries, over 2,600 eye surgeries, more than 34,700 dental treatments and approximately 10,000 medical consultations. In addition, more than 450 local healthcare professionals were trained in their area of expertise – anesthesiology, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery, midwifery and eye surgery.
About Mercy Ships
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building and sustainable development to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1 billion, with more than 2.35 million direct beneficiaries. Each year Mercy Ships has more than 1,200 volunteers from over 40 nations. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. For more information, visit www.mercyships.org.