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Newest Mercy Ship has arrived in Senegal


Victoria, BC – Darryl Anderson, Executive Director of Mercy Ships Canada, has announced that the newest Mercy Ship, Global Mercy, arrived last week in Dakar, Senegal.

“This year marks the first time that specialized surgeries will take place on this newly built hospital ship”, stated Mr. Anderson. “This field service will include partnership with ministries of health in both Senegal and The Gambia, serving both countries in the Port of Dakar.”

Mr. Anderson said he was “very proud” of the 16 Canadian volunteers (including the four children accompanying their families) currently serving on board the biggest civilian hospital ship in the world together with their international colleagues.

“The Canadian volunteers come from Vanderhoof, Kamloops, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, North Bay, Richmond Hill and Toronto.”

Mr. Anderson indicated that “numerous other volunteer Canadians” will join the hospital vessel in 2023.

Designed with purpose, the Global Mercy hospital ship is 174 meters long, 28.6 meters wide and has space for 200 patients, six operating rooms, a laboratory, general outpatient clinics, dental, and eye clinics, and training facilities. The hospital decks cover a total area of 7,000 square meters and contain the latest training facilities. The ship can accommodate up to 950 people when docked, including crewmembers and volunteers from all over the world and will serve collaboratively in the future with the Africa Mercy, which has been in operation since 2007 and is currently undergoing refit to return to service in the fall.

It is expected that more than 150,000 lives will be transformed through surgery alone, during the next 50 years of the Global Mercy’s lifespan, with each transformation representing a person with a name, a face, a story, a family, and a purpose. In addition, thousands of African medical professionals will receive training and mentoring with the goal of multiplied impact within their own communities.

“The Global Mercy’s arrival in Dakar is particularly meaningful to our team, as this year, we will be serving the people of both Senegal and The Gambia thanks to partnerships with their ministries of health,” explains Gert van de Weerdhof, Mercy Ships CEO. “We anticipate that over the next five months more than 800 maxillo-facial, paediatric orthopaedic, paediatric general, general, and eye surgeries will be carried out on board with up to 25% coming from The Gambia.”

When the Global Mercy visited Senegal in 2022, more than 260 Senegalese healthcare professionals received training on board through a variety of courses addressing topics impacting delivery of safe surgical care, including Surgical Skills, SAFE Anaesthesia, and Nursing Skills. In 2023, Mercy Ships anticipates providing training for more than 600 medical professionals.

(Photo from Mercy Ships)


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