Whether you partner with Mercy Ships through prayer, financial support, or as a volunteer, you are a vital part of our family. Your dedication and generosity has enabled Mercy Ships to provide free, life-changing surgeries to people in need for more than 40 years.
During this time of stress and uncertainty, we value our relationship with you more than ever, which is why we want to provide you with complete transparency surrounding our ongoing decisions during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
Although borders to countries remain tightly monitored, as restrictions begin to ease in different locations, our teams continue to work tirelessly and respond directly to the needs of our West and Central African partners as they deal with the threat and spread of coronavirus on the continent. We are a global community and this pandemic highlights even more that none of us are truly well until all of us are well.
Onboard the Africa Mercy, the crew are well and we are grateful that we have not had to deal with any COVID-19 cases onboard. Morale is good. The crew are caring for each other keeping the ship safe and in order during this season. Meanwhile discussions are ongoing for the physical and procedural adjustments that will need to be made, in preparation for a return to service in the field. While many of our medical and healthcare crew are back home assisting in their own nation’s situations, our HR department continues to welcome technical and maritime crew applications in particular.
We are grateful to have a safe and secure port in which to undergo our annual shipyard phase. This effort includes hospital and accommodation projects, technical service repairs and completion of maintenance for required surveys so that we can continue the operation of the Africa Mercy in compliance with maritime regulations. Many aspects of these projects are contingent on factors outside of our control, so please join with us in prayer as restrictions slowly begin to lift and for all aspects of restock and resupply.
Our African Partners
Most agree that Africa’s COVID response must be customized to the continent’s unique needs. Solutions deployed by Western countries may not work and in fact may cause even more hardship due to the prevalence of informal economies and subsistence living.
Our programs department continues to focus on strengthening the healthcare systems within West and Central Africa with the advisement of Dr. Pierre M’Pele, Africa Bureau Director and other experts. Pre and post-ship projects are underway including:
- Increasing support to the Gamal Dental University in Conakry, Guinea. With a significant restoration of the building and ongoing program development, the dental school is key to training dentists in this part of Africa.
- Our Mental Health Team led the first of a number of eLearning courses designed to support our West African colleagues in hospital and institutional settings during these challenging times. This coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week.
- In Liberia, PPE/supplies a donation for anesthesia machines to JFK Public Hospital in Liberia will be followed-up with online virtual training in both theory and practical use by our Biomed engineers to the hospital’s biomed team.
- A second round of PPE kits to support partners in Benin, Liberia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Togo.
As Mercy Ships CEO Tom Stogner says, “Mercy Ships was active in Africa before COVID-19, we are active during COVID-19 and we will continue once COVID-19 is long forgotten!”
We at Mercy Ships are so very thankful for the support we see every day from those who have become vital to our mission. We are thankful. All of us. Every volunteer crewmember. Every volunteer surgeon. Every child and adult whose lives have been transformed because of your support.
As we face these challenging events, we would like to thank you for your ongoing prayers and support to Mercy Ships and our mission to bring Hope and Healing to the world’s forgotten poor.
For now, we ask that you join us in prayer for the world and for the thousands of people who have been affected by COVID-19. We pray for calm minds for the leaders of the world, so that they have the confidence and ability to deal with the situation as it continues to evolve. We pray for peace in a time where panic seems to reign.
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About Mercy Ships:
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building, and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 56 developing countries, providing services valued at more than $1.6 billion and treating more than 2.7 million direct beneficiaries. Our ships are crewed by volunteers from over 50 nations, with an average of over 1,300 volunteers each year.
Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills. With 16 national offices and our Africa Bureau, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. For more information click on mercyships.org.