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 orthopedic operations on hundreds of children, transforming lives.
The orthopedic project will focus on pediatrics 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 Club foot 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 Club feet 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. Mercy Ships works 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.
In two successive years, between 2014 and 2016, 917 maxillo-facial operations were conducted in Madagascar, transforming and saving lives.