X-ray & OPG

Canadian Program

Project Need

The purpose of the project is to provide radiology equipment, specifically an X-ray and OPG (Orthopantomogram) unit, for the hospital ship the Africa Mercy. Radiology equipment have a typical lifecycle of 7-10 years. Radiology services are required 24/7 to provide diagnostic imaging for patients and crew on a routine and emergency basis and essential to providing safe surgery on the hospital ship.

The Africa Mercy is scheduled to arrive in Durban, South Africa in February 2023 and start the re-fit project work in March 2023. Completion of the hospital vessel’s re-fit is scheduled for November 2023. The re-fit project work includes the purchases and installation of new radiology equipment.


The existing Quantum X-ray unit was purchased in 2005 and installed on the Africa Mercy in 2006 and is nearing obsolescence. At the start of Senegal field service, the X-ray equipment was not functional and the first six weeks there was no X-ray service on the hospital ship. Patients and crew members had to go ashore for imaging and some surgeries were cancelled. The Quantum X-ray unit has been very reliable and is coming to end of life now and support has become extremely difficult due to its age. The typical lifespan of an X-ray unit is 7 to 8 years.

OPG (Orthopantomogram)

The unit is a panoramic 2D X-ray of the maxilla and mandible. The imaging equipment is used for imaging pathology pre and post op for maxillofacial patients having surgery on the hospital ship. The dental clinic also sends patients and crew members for OPG imaging tests and analysis. The existing OPG machine was installed on the Africa Mercy in 2009 and is nearing obsolescence. Recent equipment failure have occurred and the vendor did not have parts available, so repairs take many months to address.  As a result, the machine was down for 2 ½ months during the 2022 Senegal field service.

Project Overview

As part of the Africa Mercy re-fit, the X-ray and OPG radiology equipment will be purchased and shipped to the Mercy Ships’ warehouse in the Netherlands.  The equipment will then be delivered and installed on board the hospital ship as part of the Africa Mercy’s re-fit in 2023.


Anticipated Project Impacts

The new radiology equipment is mirroring what is installed on the Global Mercy to simplify vendor support, biomedical maintenance tasks and ensure uniform machine functioning for radiology technicians and will be procured from an established Mercy Ships vendor.

In Q3 of 2023, the X-ray and OPG radiology equipment has been purchased and been shipped by container from the Netherlands warehouse to South Africa, ready for installation on the Africa Mercy.

medical radiography

X-ray & OPG


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