A New Ship: Announcing the Global Mercy

Global Mercy

The world’s largest civilian hospital ship designed to double the hope and double the healing.

The dream was born long ago.

What if we designed a new hospital ship? One that could hold more patients? Support more crew members to volunteer overseas? Deliver more medical training? What if we built a vessel that could provide even more hope and more healing in Africa?

Responding to an Overwhelming Need

The dream of a new hospital ship came in response to a harsh reality. Each year, 16.9 million people die due to lack of access to surgical care.* A large percentage of these deaths occur in Africa’s developing nations, where the fragile healthcare systems simply cannot support the overwhelming need for safe surgical procedures. 

For over 40 years, Mercy Ships has been on a mission to change that. Through the support of our faithful partners and volunteers, we provide access to safe surgery and deliver medical training. As a result, countless lives have been transformed through a holistic approach to healthcare. From surgical care to medical training to long-lasting infrastructure development, we strengthen healthcare systems by treating patients and providing sustainable solutions to nations in need.

But in all of our efforts to reach more and teach more, we needed a ship equipped to do more.

A Medical Marvel

It’s with much joy and gratitude that we announce the Global Mercy—the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, built to more than double our capacity to deliver safe healthcare and medical training to Africa. This 174-meter, 37,000-ton ship is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation, six operating theatres, and 199 hospital beds. And because medical training is a critical part of our in-country engagement program, the Global Mercy is equipped with a training centre that includes a simulation lab, virtual reality stations, and more. Powered by an international crew of more than 600 volunteers, the ship also has ample accommodations to make its surgeons, nurses, maritime crew, cooks, teachers, electricians and more, feel at home. (Interested in volunteering? Submit your application today!)

The Global Mercy will join the Africa Mercy to serve Africa together. With their combined medical technology, passionate crews, and the support of partners, many more people will experience life changing transformations.

Free surgical procedures by some of the most well-trained physicians in the world remain an important part of our life-changing work. And while our patients experience physical healing through the surgeries they receive, they often find much more. Children are able to go to school. Mothers and fathers are able to work and provide for their families. Community relationships are restored. For so many of our patients, access to surgery means finding hope again.

Over the next 50 years, it is estimated that more than 150,000 lives will be changed onboard the Global Mercy through surgery alone, and countless more lives will be impacted through the ship’s medical training and infrastructure programs. In close collaboration with our host nations in Africa, the Global Mercy, together with the Africa Mercy, will more than double the impact of our work. 

Join us on the journey of making dreams a reality!

Learn more about the Global Mercy and how you can leave a lasting legacy >>

*Source: The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

volunteer Florence Bangura

The Woman Who Forged Her Way Through Walls: Florence Bangura’s Story

Florence’s journey from oldest to newest Mercy Ship came full circle when she met the Global Mercy™ in 2023, the same year that the purpose-built hospital ship began welcoming its patients on board. Today, you can find Florence, now 49 years old, down in the engine room as a hotel engineering assistant.

Dr Austin Demby

Transforming Sierra Leone’s Healthcare: A Vision for Safe and Affordable Surgery

As experts from the surgical and healthcare world gather for the 64th Annual Conference and Scientific Meeting of the West African College of Surgeons in Sierra Leone this week, a profound dedication to advancing surgical knowledge and practice in the region is palpable. At the forefront of discussions lies the conference’s pivotal theme: access to safe and affordable surgical and anesthetic care in West Africa. This theme highlights the pressing need to address disparities in healthcare capabilities and capacities across the region, especially the critical importance of equitable access to quality surgical interventions.

Mission Madagascar

The Africa Mercy Arrives in Madagascar to Bring Hope and Healing Anew

Freshly refitted hospital ship, the upgraded Africa Mercy® has arrived at the island nation to build on the charity’s longstanding collaboration and will provide specialized surgeries in various fields, including maxillofacial and ear nose and throat, general, pediatric specialized general, pediatric orthopedic, cataract surgery, and reconstructive plastics. 

Patient Vanya

Reuniting with Vanya, Years After Surgery

In 2015, in an operating room on board the Africa Mercy while docked in Madagascar, the course of Vanya’s life changed.
Years have now passed since Vanya’s journey toward healing. In the time since, her improved ability to walk allowed her to return to school, where she loved studying environmental science and learning about the world around her.

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