Strengthening our Capacity to Provide Direct Medical Services
In September 2021, our new vessel, the Global Mercy, arrived in Antwerp, Belgium, for the equipping phase. While there, volunteers will outfit the ship with hospital equipment and information technology systems. The Africa Mercy is presently undergoing maintenance in Spain in anticipation of a return to field service.
During the summer, several Canadians (and their family members) participated in training that will help prepare the individuals for long-term service with Mercy Ships. Two dozen Canadians are expected to join the seven Canadian volunteer crew members and their international colleagues in various roles onboard the two vessels. More Canadians will be joining them over the comings weeks during the equipping phase of the Global Mercy.
Medical Capacity Building Accelerated
Mercy Ships programmatic activities that occurred after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic included the following:
- Training: Courses and eLearning, including mental health, the caregiver’s well-being, palliative care principles and food for life program.
- Dental and Surgical: Two initiatives related to dental clinic work and Freedom from Fistula.
- Senegal: Threes initiatives related to medical capacity building and training in our agriculture program.
Health System Relationship Development is a Priority
COVID response initiatives related to the provision of personal protection equipment in 11 African countries demonstrated our ongoing commitment. Mercy Ships Canada also has two staff members that work internationally with Mercy Ships to help prepare for and carry out program work.
Global partnerships and innovation in program delivery are being used to carry out additional activities in 2021. As a result, more hope and healing will continue in Senegal as Mercy Ships plans to resume work there early in 2022.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Africa Mercy departed Dakar ten weeks ahead of schedule in our 2019/2020 Senegal field service. Thankfully, partners from around the world still helped bring much needed healthcare to thousands of people in need this year!
Thanks to you in Senegal...
Aliou now stands with arms wide open to match his ever-present smile! His arm is healed, and he can rejoice! With all the surgeries conducted on the #AfricaMercy during the Senegal field service, we celebrate with each patient who received healing. Many have returned to their communities feeling valued and impassioned with a new purpose. Thank you for the part you’ve played in their stories!
Mercy Ships values connecting with local medical professionals. With the diverse array of volunteer surgeons and nurses onboard the #AfricaMercy, local healthcare workers can participate in unique mentorship programs. These programs allow for an exchange of ideas and skills as well as relationship building that will last far beyond our departure from the port.
Mercy Ships advocates for long-term solutions by training and mentoring medical professionals in the countries that we serve. Our training programs help strengthen existing skills, develop new competencies, and empower local healthcare workers. With their increased knowledge and confidence, they are equipped with the tools needed to build up their nation’s healthcare system.
Our volunteer crew plays a HUGE part in ensuring that Mercy Ships can continue providing life-changing medical care. The community onboard is a multicultural blend of people and ideas; however, amidst their differences, the crew is united by their commitment to service. Although many come to serve and help change lives, many leave finding themselves being the ones changed forever. Come join us onboard and maybe one of those lives could be yours!
Every year, we partner with our host nation to hire local crew to work with us on our ship. Whether that be providing translation in the rehab tents, preparing food in the galley, maintaining the ship alongside the deck department, or driving patients for their next therapy appointment, day crew are essential to our mission. We are so grateful for their involvement to ensure the success of Mercy Ships programs!
While in Senegal, Mercy Ships renovated a facility into a dental clinic where thousands of patients were treated. Along with the procedures provided, over 7,000 patients and caregivers were taught basic oral health! Though simple, such education is the seed to growing a stronger oral healthcare system in the countries we serve.
From Dakar to Saint-Louis in the north, to Matam in the east, to Kolda in the south, thanks to caring partners Mercy Ships was able to screen and provide surgeries to patients all across Senegal! No matter the location, Mercy Ships seeks to restore dignity to the marginalized.
Learn more about our Senegal field service.