Mercy Ships Becomes the 50th Member Organization of the G4 Alliance to advocate for the inclusion and expansion of Essential Surgery access in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as UN General Assembly Approaches.

New York, NY, September 15, 2015: The mission of global charity Mercy Ships is to bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor by providing free surgery in the developing world. With the pending introduction of the UN’s Post-2015 Global Goals on Sustainable Development, Mercy Ships has become the 50th organization to join members of the global community dedicated to promoting universal access to safe, essential surgical and anesthesia care.

This network of non-profit organizations, academic institutions and professional societies launched in May 2015 to form the Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anesthesia Care (G4 Alliance), a coalition of member organizations dedicated to advocating for the neglected surgical patient.

“Access to essential lifesaving surgery has long been a neglected part of the global health and development agenda.  Mercy Ships has been working for over 35 years to bring needed surgery to the forgotten poor and strengthening the healthcare systems in the countries we work in through training and infrastructure development.  Joining the Alliance of G4 Member Organizations is one more step to our commitment of transforming nations, one at a time,” said Don Stephens, President and Founder of Mercy Ships.

The recently published Lancet Commission Report on Global Surgery and the adoption of WHO resolution 68/15 for strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anesthesia as a component of Universal Health Coverage at the World Health Assembly in May 2015 have emphasized the global need for essential surgery.  More than 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care, with only 6% of all operations being delivered to the world’s poorest countries.

“While continuing to address the vast unmet surgical need in the countries we serve by providing free surgeries, over the last few years Mercy Ships has expanded our Medical Capacity Building programs. These programs work to strengthen the countries’ long term ability to provide essential surgical services. We are excited to join like-minded organizations in order to work together to address this critical global health need,” stated Dr. Peter Linz, International Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Ships.

“The G4 Alliance was established to provide a platform for member organization to advocate for increased access to safe surgical, obstetric, trauma and anesthesia care as an essential component of health systems strengthening and as part of the global development agenda. We are honored to welcome Mercy Ships as our 50th member organization and remain united in our commitment to advocating for the neglected surgical patient,” shared Dr. Fizan Abdullah, Chair of the G4 Alliance Board of Directors.

To support these efforts, the G4 Alliance has launched a global consultative process to develop a policy and advocacy platform, supported by a global accountability framework that aligns with evidence-based findings from the Lancet Commission and Disease Control Priorities reports. The G4 Alliance is also interested in developing a worldwide method for tracking surgical training along with other data to strengthen surgical systems in the developing world.





ABOUT MERCY SHIPS:  Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building and sustainable development to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1 billion, treating more than 2.5 million direct beneficiaries. Each year Mercy Ships has more than 1,600 volunteers from more than 40 nations. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. Learn more about who we are.


For More Information:

Contact: Laura Rebouche ́
U.S. National Media Relations Director Mercy Ships
Office:+1 903.939.7000
Direct:+1 903.939.7127

For Int’l: Diane Rickard
International Media Relations Manager Mercy Ships

Hi-res photos and general Mercy Ships B-Roll video footage are available upon request.