Global Mercy: Full speed ahead to Africa

One port, two nations.

There are some events in life that classify as a milestone. 45 years after Mercy Ships was founded, the commissioning of our new hospital ship is indeed an historic turning point in our story. On February 10th, the new flagship of our fleet sets sail for Africa for its first humanitarian mission.

A two-fold field service to serve Senegal and The Gambia

When the Global Mercy drops anchor in the port of Dakar in February, it will not just be a ship like many others. For hundreds of Senegalese, her arrival heralds the end of their despair, as quality surgical procedures are suddenly within reach. And for local health professionals, our presence provides numerous opportunities for medical capacity building through courses and mentoring, allowing them to acquire new skills. So it’s a broad program that can improve access to care in the country, benefiting the entire population!

In addition, the Global Mercy is opening its doors to patients from neighboring countries during its first outreach. Thanks to the initiative and generosity of the President of Senegal, our volunteer staff will be able to offer surgeries and training to the people of The Gambia as well. Two countries are joining forces so that their inhabitants can benefit from our services during the same operation – another first in our history!


First surgical aid field service for the Global Mercy

Following the handover of the ship from the shipyard in June 2021, a lot of work was still needed – unfortunately somewhat hampered by the pandemic – to turn the Global Mercy into a functioning floating hospital. It took a long time to fit out the area of the ship that was intended to be a hospital, two entire decks, accordingly. But now the project has come to completion and the Global Mercy can boast of being not only the largest civilian hospital ship in the world, but also the first to be built specifically for this purpose. The ship was inaugurated in Dakar on May 30, 2022.

Funded exclusively by a number of philanthropists, foundations and generous benefactors, the new ship is just waiting to begin its service and serve primarily those most in need over the next 40 or 50 years. Up to 641 volunteers are on board – some for a few weeks, others for several months or even years – to bring the unimaginable to thousands of patients: concrete, tangible help that alleviates their suffering and gives them new hope for the future.

Last published articles

A new chapter

Mercy Ships and MSC Foundation The MSC Foundation, the MSC Group and Mercy Ships join forces to build a new hospital ship The new purpose-built hospital ship will expand the



Picture of Christophe Baer
Christophe Baer
Christophe is the head of Donor Relations and Administration for Mercy Ships Switzerland. He is also a member of the management team.

Read other blogposts​

Help transform the life of our patients today.