General Surgery

The Surgical Need in Developing


Why is the need so extreme?

For the poor in developing countries, accessing necessary medical and surgical care is extremely difficult due to their remote location, lack of medical facilities and financial constraints. Often, conditions that are treated in earlier stages in wealthier countries, are treated very late in developing countries, resulting in increased severity and debilitation, preventing people from working or attending school.

In the African nations where Mercy Ships serves, healthcare systems struggle to meet the needs of the population, including surgery. For many people, if surgery is available, it is often located in urban areas and cost-prohibitive.

According to the World Health Organisation, there is a critical shortage of all types of medical providers in developing countries. Because of these limitations, general surgical needs such as hernias and goiters plague this region’s adult and paediatric populations.

Transformational health care through onboard Surgery Programs



Mercy Ships seeks to relieve the burden of disease and affliction such as hernias and goiters among the poor and outcast by providing specialised, corrective surgical interventions, through the Specialised Surgical Solutions programme. Mercy Ships works in partnership with local governments, as well as with a variety of NGOs and physicians in the country, to provide specialised surgeries that will facilitate life-enhancing and, in many cases, life-saving transformations.



Through all of the surgical programmes, Mercy Ships has performed more than 100’000 life-changing or life-saving surgical procedures, including hernia repairs and tumour removals.


Recovery & Counselling

Patients recuperate under world-class care in the ship’s hospital ward and outpatient care in the HOPE Center (Hospital Out-Patient Extension) where they are also provided with opportunity for moral and spiritual support. Mercy Ships aims to provide a caring, holistic environment to help patient recovery.