Deformities in Developing Nations

Why is the need so extreme?

For the poor in developing nations, accessing necessary medical and surgical care is extremely difficult due to their remote location, lack of medical facilities and financial constraints. Conditions that would be treated in the early stages in developed nations, grow to the point of being life threatening. The consequence for many is a lifetime of disability, rejection and sometimes even death.

In Africa, few countries have functional health care systems, which include hospitals, clinics, medical providers, etc. According to the World Health Organisation, there is a critical shortage of all types of medical providers in developing nations. Due to the lack of general and specialised health care, general surgical needs, such as hernias and goiters, plague this region’s adult and pediatric 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.


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.


In three short field services in Senegal and the Gambia, between 2019 and 2023, 716 general surgeries were performed, transforming and saving lives.


Discover general surgery patients

Support our surgeries