One Port Two Nations

The Global Mercy and Mercy Ships volunteers arrived in Dakar ready to serve the people of Senegal and The Gambia with surgical expertise and training. As a result, our hospital ship will help patients from two countries simultaneously for the first time. More than 800 maxillo-facial, pediatric orthopedic, pediatric general, general, and eye surgeries are planned in the months ahead, thanks to your support!

Current Activities

Return to Sierra Leone in 2023

Thanks to an invitation from the government of Sierra Leone, Mercy Ships is honored to return to the Port of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the second half of 2023. © Mercy Ships

A historic moment as the two ships come together and prepare for the next season of work in Africa. Over the coming weeks, the Global Mercy will prepare for her first field service serving as a hospital and training center, and the Africa Mercy will prepare for further equipping.

Mercy Ships has a long-lasting history reaching back more than 20 years with the West African nation of Sierra Leone. Next year, the organization will add an exciting next chapter to this story. Upon invitation by the government of Sierra Leone, Mercy Ships is pleased to announce that the Global Mercy will sail to serve in Sierra Leone in the end of summer 2023.

During the field service, Mercy Ships plans to operate its newest, purpose-built hospital ship in Freetown to provide safe surgical and dental care, as well as advanced medical training and mentoring on board.

“Thank you, Mercy Ships, for your continuous humanitarian and medical support towards providing treatment to people with various medical conditions worldwide. This partnership agreement which was signed pre-covid includes a 10-month Global Mercy deployment for free surgical care in partnership with local institutions in Sierra Leone. The hospital ship will serve as a platform for training our healthcare professionals to build capacity. Programs will ensure that the positive impact of Mercy Ships will continue long after the ship leaves the shores of Sierra Leone. This partnership will support our vision to ensure a functional national health system delivering efficient, high-quality healthcare services that are accessible, equitable and affordable for all,” stated H.E. President Julius Maada Bio.

This upcoming visit will be the sixth in Mercy Ships history with Sierra Leone.

“We are excited to confirm that we are planning a future return to Sierra Leone. This will be our sixth field service working alongside this nation. Now we can fully step into an important season of assessing existing needs and identifying how we can best support to deliver hope and healing to those in tremendous need of surgical care,” said Gert van de Weerdhof, Mercy Ships Chief Executive Officer.

International Symposium and Dakar Declaration

The Dakar Declaration draft is read allowed section by section for final remarks before Delegates and Ministers of Health on the third day of the International Symposium hosted at the King Fahd Palace Hotel in Dakar, Sen, on Friday, May 6, 2022 © Mercy Ships

The International Symposium and Dakar Declaration were an unique opportunity to:

  • Create a continental roadmap for improving investment in strengthening access to surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care in Africa by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and, in particular, the goal on Health.
  • Promote and strengthen national surgical, anaesthetic, obstetric and nursing care systems and improve the surgical ecosystem as a neglected component of health systems.

The roadmap was the result of:

  • An assessment of the surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care situation in Africa with the identification of gaps.
  • A list of priorities to be submitted to the African Heads of State, from an Action Plan focusing on concrete actions and investments [prioritized, streamlined, budgeted and achievable with the commitment of public and private partners] to change the situation for the achievement of the Health SDG N°3 by 2030.
  • A strategy for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Action Plan.
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2022 Year in Review

This has been a year of promises fulfilled and hope realized. Thanks to you, Mercy Ships and local partners provided more than 2,000 life-changing surgeries and trained more than 1,100 healthcare workers. In 2023, with invitations to serve in three West African countries, your support is more important than ever.