Children can walk thanks to the surgical programs on board.
Mercy Ships works in partnership with the local medical community in each country to identify candidates for surgery. In the fully equipped operating theaters on board, highly qualified surgeons provide free orthopaedic operations on hundreds of children, transforming lives.
The orthopaedic project focuses on paediatrics, because the bone malleability in children makes recovery much quicker than in adult patients. In this way we can, to some extent, follow up a patient until they are fully recovered. This approach is most appropriate for Mercy Ships, due to the time constraints of the ten-month ship deployment.
The Ponseti Method is a treatment for clubfoot which does not require an invasive operation. As a result, it is perfectly adapted to developing countries which lack surgical infrastructure.
Mercy Ships train local health professionals (doctors, physiotherapists or even social workers) to correct clubfoot in stages, by means of successive casts. We are able to treat 20 to 30 children at the same time, over a three month period.
Training, Capacity Building & Prevention
Mercy Ships collaborates with governments and local health ministries in order to improve the national healthcare infrastructure. We work with local surgeons and nurses, offering them training and opportunities to learn specific techniques. In addition, Mercy Ships contributes to the long-term eradication of preventable diseases which can lead to serious consequences by conducting community health education programs.
During our 2019-20 Senegal field service, volunteer medical staff provided 116 life-changing surgeries to 114 pediatric patients. All patients received appropriate physical therapy from our Rehabilitation Team.