Inauguration of the Global Mercy

New hope for those in Africa who don't have access to surgical care

Africa Celebration

On a Friday afternoon in Senegal, crewmembers of the Africa Mercy hospital ship excitedly gazed out into the ocean from the highest deck with palpable anticipation. At the same moment, people across the world watched from home, filled with equal expectancy.

“There, I can see it!” eight-year-old Amayah, a pupil from Canada in the ship’s Academy, squealed in delight. Over the horizon, the Global Mercy glided through the mirror-like water. From a distance she was deceptively small. But as she inched closer, her full bulk was revealed.

As the ship met bow to bow with the Africa Mercy, the excitement swelled. After all, the impact of an expanded two-ship fleet will ripple through lives across Africa, bringing more safe surgeries to the patients who need them, and increased training to empower local healthcare professionals.

Docked in Africa for the first time, the newest, purpose-built Mercy Ship could finally be officially inaugurated. The long-awaited ceremony had been delayed until this special moment, when the ship could be dedicated on the continent she’s destined to serve.

In Juli, more than 300 Senegalese healthcare professionals received training on board the Global Mercy, through a variety of courses, including surgical skills, SAFE anaesthesia, nursing skills and more. The first of many training sessions will address topics impacting delivery of safe surgical care.

At the moment, in August 2022, the Global Mercy is back in Granadilla, where our volunteers are continuing to set up the hospital so that it will be ready for its first surgical mission in early 2023. The beginning of a service to the poorest of the poor for hopefully 50 years at least!

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René Lehmann
René Lehmann is the Managing Director of Mercy Ships Switzerland.

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