What is Mercy Ships?
About 5 billion people worldwide do not have adequate access to essential surgery.
Every year, Mercy Ships provides more than 2,000 free surgical interventions and 8,000 dental treatments to those without access in developing countries. Mercy Ships also works with host nations to help fill the gaps in healthcare systems through training opportunities and infrastructure projects.
Since 1990, Mercy Ships has focused most of its efforts towards the African continent. Through the deployment of the two world’s largest civilian hospital ships, the Global Mercy and the Africa Mercy¸ Mercy Ships offers holistic support to developing nations striving to make healthcare accessible for all.
An enormous challenge
A large majority of the world’s population does not have the benefit of a nearby hospital or lack the financial means to seek treatment. According to a recent study, 5 million human beings do not have sufficient access to essential surgery (source).
What could be worse than a dirty waiting room and a dilapidated operating theater with well-worn equipment in a state of deterioration? For many without adequate care, a mild injury could be transformed into a fatal illness.
Mercy Ships collaborates with governments and the World Health Organisation to help respond to this challenge.
Our answer: hospital ships
Over 50% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of the coast. Our ships deliver a state-of-the-art hospital to port cities, providing a controlled, safe and clean environment for patients and volunteers.
The Africa Mercy and the Global Mercy, the two largest non-governmental hospital ships in the world, are crewed by 400-600 volunteers from around the world and brings hope and healing to hundreds of thousands of people who could never have believed it possible.
Urgent needs and lasting impact
Our action is based on two priorities:
- Mercy Ships serves the dire and immediate needs of the poorests populations. More than 108,000 surgeries have been performed since 1978.
- Mercy Ships works with host nations to help fill the gaps in healthcare systems. We provide mentoring and training opportunities for professionals. More than 50,300 people have attended our training.
History of Mercy Ships
Mercy Ships increases access to healthcare around the world. Working with qualified local and international partners, Mercy Ships programs offer global support to developing countries, seeking to make healthcare accessible to all.
Surgical and medical care
Local medical capacity building programs
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Africa in our focus
Mercy Ships is focussing its efforts on the continent of Africa and contributes to bringing a lasting change.