When the world feels uncertain, we look for the good. When we realize that healthcare systems are fragile, we look for security. When we feel that our health is at risk, we look for the helpers. Today is World Health Day — a day set aside by the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus on the impact quality medical care has on the world around us. This year’s theme focuses on two healthcare professions essential to the work we do: nurses and midwives, who spend their lives providing vital health services. Whether we are in a state of emergency or not, these healthcare workers around the world respond to need with consistent love and service.
This pandemic has changed the healthcare environment. It affects all of us. Our social lives, daily routines, family outings, work, the economy and especially those who have contracted the virus. In the midst of all of this stress and uncertainty, our healthcare workers are doing everything they can to take care of others.
For over 40 years, Mercy Ships has acknowledged the fragility of healthcare systems around the world. Healthcare professionals onboard our hospital ships have served in more than 50 countries. And today we want to take a moment to lift them up.
It’s encouraging that when there’s a need, this remarkable group of people are quick to respond. We often talk about how lives have been transformed onboard our ships. Those transformations are dependent on many processes, but the role our healthcare professionals serve is priceless. Even though we know that together we care and that together we are Mercy Ships, we couldn’t do what we do without the helpers who are there to care for those who are most vulnerable.
“Mercy Ships creates the opportunity to use your specific skills to bring something important to a country that is not available there. This is done without taking an opportunity away from the local population,” Christina van der Zande, volunteer Palliative Care Nurse Team Leader, said. “We fulfill an immediate need by supplementing the care available in the country with our specialized surgical care, post-op care, and palliative care. And, at the same time, we want to work ourselves out of a job by training others through our various Medical Capacity Building programs.”
Our volunteers do so much to help support the healthcare systems of the countries we serve. When we all come together, we are able to provide hope and healing to the forgotten poor.
“I’ve been working in Africa for more than 35 years, and you see people lose their life because they didn’t have access to a simple antibiotic or because they couldn’t afford surgery,” Rosa Whitaker, President of Mercy Ships, said. “So we’re here to help. We’re here to partner. We’re here to provide hope. We’re here to collaborate. We’re here to serve.”
In times of uncertainty, we look for the good. When healthcare systems are fragile, we look for security. When our health is at risk, we look for the helpers. While acknowledging these emotions, we also believe in HOPE. We’re not alone. Together we love, together we give, together we care, together we overcome. Thank you for your ongoing support, your prayers, and for your generous hearts. We look forward to reaching even more people in need and increasing medical capacity worldwide in the coming years. Together we are Mercy Ships!
Written By Haley Hoar & Ruben Plomp Edited By Scott Selsor & Andrea Gilbert