In a gesture of solidarity, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shipments are in process of being sent to 11 partner nations by Mercy Ships in coordination with the charity’s European Distribution Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Shipments are destined for Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The PPE is designated for distribution by Ministries of Health for each nation’s ongoing battle to continue medical care and keep healthcare workers safe.
The Ministry of Health in Conakry Guinea took delivery in early January 2021 of a donation of PPE from Mercy Ships including 16,000 items valued at more than $100,000, thanks to the partner donation of shipping and port coordination provided through the MSC Foundation, part of the MSC Group. Acknowledging the delivery were Mr Fode Doumbouya Human Resources & Administration Manager MSC Guinee and David Ugai, Mercy Ships Guinea Country Director on behalf of the charity.
Liberian health ministry representatives joined the Honorable Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Minister of Health MD, MPH, CHES, FLCP, FWACP and Keith Brinkman, Designated Country Director Liberia for a similar handover end of January in Monrovia Liberia.
“We are happy that you are able to provide all of these materials to us as well as our other neighboring countries for them to continue the fight against COVID as we do the same thing. Everything that we have received here today will be used for the intended purpose to protect the healthcare workers and to fight against COVID-19. We want to thank the MSC Foundation to make sure that things arrive. We hope that we continue this great partnership…so we can together protect the lives of the Liberian people,’’ stated Dr Jallah.
The provision of this much-needed logistical support enables Mercy Ships to concentrate more of its resources to healthcare and training. The MSC Foundation has supported the work of Mercy Ships since 2011, with a special focus on Africa including participation with the Mercy Ships Cargo Day initiative.
“Together with the MSC Group, the MSC Foundation has taken swift action since the beginning of the pandemic to provide prompt support worldwide to combat COVID-19 and help mitigate its impact on disadvantaged groups. Our efforts will continue for as long as the pandemic is a threat. At this critical time, we are happy to provide essential PPE to partners of Mercy Ships who bring hope and healing to thousands of people who lack access to safe, modern healthcare and surgical care,” stated Daniela Picco, Executive Director MSC Foundation.
Each year, 16.9 million people die due to lack of access to surgical care, 93 per cent of whom stem from Africa. This partnership has helped Mercy Ships provide more than 18,000 life-changing surgeries in sub-Saharan and Central Africa according to spokespersons.
René Lehmann, Director of Mercy Ships Switzerland, also emphasizes the importance of MSC’s support. “Every franc that Mercy Ships does not have to spend on logistics and transport can be invested in capacity building and medical training as well as in surgical and medical care.”
“For more than 30 years, Mercy Ships has stood shoulder to shoulder with our African partners to address the global surgery crisis. Throughout this battle with the pandemic, Mercy Ships continues to conduct online medical capacity training and support ongoing projects with partners on the ground. We are committed for our ship to return to help strengthen healthcare systems within West and Central Africa, as soon as the global situation allows,” stated Dr Pierre M’Pele, Africa Bureau Director for Mercy Ships.