112’622 km²
Poverty rate
49.5 %
UN Development Index
Rank: 163 out of 189
Physicians per million inhabitants
6 (in Switzerland: 4’200)

The Africa Mercy departed from Cotonou, in Benin, on June 3rd, 2017, after a ten-month stay in the port city.

While docked in Benin, the volunteer crew onboard completed 1’957 surgeries, transforming the lives of 1’793 patients and their families.

As well as delivering direct medical interventions on the ground in Benin, Mercy Ships worked hard to equip local medical staff with the knowledge and facilities needed to continue Mercy Ships work after the ship left Cotonou. The Mercy Ships capacity building team trained and mentored 1’962 local health professionals in a variety of specialities.

The following trainings and courses have been offered to Senegalese health professionals:

• Essential pain management
• Essential surgical skills
• Primary Trauma Care
• Pediatric and obstetric anesthesia
• Neonatal resuscitation
• WHO Safe surgical checklist
• Anesthesia training

Mentoring has also been offered for the following professions:

• Surgeons in multiple specialities
• OR nurses
• Maxilofacial OR teams
• Anesthesia providers
• Clubfoot care with Ponseti method

Sustainable renovations

Two facilities – at the Centre de Sante de Zogbo and the Centre de Sante de Missessin – were renovated, to function as the Mercy Ships dental clinic and HOPE Centre. After the field service, these renovated facilities were returned to the local health suppliers.

This is the breakdown for Benin:


Orthopaedic surgeries


Maxillofacial surgeries


Reconstructive plastic surgeries


General surgeries


Ophthalmic surgeries


Women’s health surgeries


Ambulatory surgeries

On top of this, 6’942 patients were treated by the Mercy Ships dental experts, who delivered a total of 16’489 procedures.

Some moving stories from our surgical patients​

Story of Kadidja

Story of Kadidja

At first glance, Kadidja is just like any other child. The 4-year-old girl is happy and energetic. She loves to dance, play, and eat good food. She brightens up any room with her fearless energy and hardly ever stops giggling. But something was holding her back.


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