VICTORIA, BC AUGUST 13th 2018 – Medical charity Mercy Ships has docked in Conakry, Guinea to spend ten months providing free life-changing healthcare for the Guinean people. Mercy Ships plans to provide 2 to 2.5 thousand life-changing surgeries onboard, to treat over 8,000 at a land-based dental clinic as well as provide healthcare training to local medical professionals. This is the fourth time a Mercy Ship has docked in Conakry Guinea; over 100 Canadians will volunteer throughout the field service.
Surgical specialties offered onboard hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, include maxillofacial, plastic reconstructive, women’s health – including obstetric fistula, pediatric orthopaedics, general, and ophthalmic (adult and pediatric).
“The Africa Mercy has five operating rooms, a CAT scan machine, full labs, ward beds for 82, and a volunteer crew who not only volunteer their time but pay for their own room and board as well as their flights to and from Africa,” said Tim Maloney, Mercy Ships Canada’s National Director.
The ship reflects the diversity of the nations it helps, “with over 40 countries represented in the crew, it truly is international, people of all walks of life doing what they can do to support the work of bringing hope and healing to the world’s poor,” said Maloney.
Mercy Ships not only delivers medical services but also drives sustainable change. In Guinea, Mercy Ships will provide training to local healthcare professionals in essential surgical skills, obstetric anaesthesia, paediatric anaesthesia, primary trauma care, essential pain management, biomedical equipment care, neonatal resuscitation, Ponseti method and the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist.
Volunteer professionals will also mentor maxillofacial teams, surgeons, surgical nurses, anaesthesia providers and sterile processing staff and run a nutritional agriculture-training course.
A country of 12 million people, Guinea has one doctor per 10,000 people. Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it potentially one of Africa’s richest countries, but its people are among the poorest in West Africa.
ABOUT MERCY SHIPS: Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building and sustainable development to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1.3 billion, treating more than 2.56 million direct beneficiaries. Each year Mercy Ships has an average of 1,000 volunteer crew from up to 40 nations, serving onboard the Africa Mercy. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. For more information, visit www.mercyships.ca
Hi-res photos are available on request. An overview of Mercy Ships can be watched here: https://vimeo.com/mercyshipsca