Mercy Ships Welcomes Presidential Visit
on board, in Toamasina Harbor

Presidential Visit

Malagasy president His Excellency Andry Nirina Rajoelina visited patients and volunteers on board Mercy Ships’ hospital vessel to see for himself the lives being transformed.

On Saturday June 15, the president along with Minister of Health Professor Randriamanantany Zely Arivelo, accompanied by a delegation with His Excellency, visited the Africa Mercy® hospital ship in Toamasina. This marked the first time the Malagasy president has visited the ship during its current mission.

Nathan Jansen, Managing Director of the Africa Mercy, said: “We were honored to welcome His Excellency aboard the Africa Mercy. We were encouraged both by his desire to bring health to all of the people of Madagascar, and for his expression of partnership with Mercy Ships. We consider it a privilege to serve as partners with the Ministry of Health to bring direct medical services and education training and advocacy to the health system.”

During the hospital tour, His Excellency had the opportunity to speak with several patients in the ward. He said:

“We hope Mercy Ships can serve in Madagascar as long as possible”, to which everyone including the President’s delegation, the crew, and the patients in the ward, broke out in loud applause.

The president also explored various departments of the hospital, including the operating room and the CT-scanner. His Excellency remarked: “It is already impressive to have a hospital ship like this, utilizing advanced technologies.”

While walking through the ship’s corridors, the President took time to chat with some crew members. He showed particular interest in the onboard community, which currently consists of 336 individuals. On the bridge, he received a briefing from the captain and enjoyed a stunning view of Toamasina’s coastline.

At the end of his visit, His Excellency affirmed that Mercy Ships supports the Malagasy government’s effort in healthcare.

The President stated: “Healthcare must be closer to the people. This is why we have built multiple hospitals. From 1990 to 2019, Madagascar had only 18 referral hospitals. Since the beginning of my mandate in 2019, we have constructed 30 additional hospitals nationwide.”

“We now need partners to help those in difficulty. There are operations that Malagasy specialists cannot yet perform, especially for the most vulnerable. The actions and operations that Mercy Ships is undertaking in Madagascar are commendable, and we should continue in this direction to help our neighbors, particularly those in difficulty and suffering from illnesses.”

Andry Nirina Rajoelina, President of Madagascar, during a visit to the Africa Mercy. © Mercy Ships

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