courses for educational study and knowledge application

In addition to our in-depth mentoring projects, Mercy Ships sponsors courses that cover material in an established curriculum. The courses, typically designed for a classroom setting, are for a variety of healthcare professionals involved in providing surgical care: surgeons, nurses, anesthesia providers, etc. Many of these courses include a train-the-trainer component so that newly learned knowledge and skills are transferred to others.

essential surgical skills course

The Essential Surgical Skills Course (ESSC) is a two-day course designed to introduce surgical trainees to use safe surgical techniques that are common to all forms of surgery. This course includes two days of initial training, followed by one day of train-the-trainer, and then a two-day training where course is taught by new trainers.

Partners: Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland Johnson and Johnson


WHO safe surgical checklist course

This checklist is a simple, low-cost tool designed to facilitate teamwork and communication, and helps healthcare professionals perform six essential safety steps for every operation. The tool is not simply a document with steps to ‘tick,’ but a process that enhances the surgical team’s communication and teamwork which are essential to providing safe care.



primary trauma care course

The PTC course was created to offer training to trauma response physicians and nurses in low resource environments, and is intended to provide basic knowledge and skills necessary to identify and treat those traumatized patients who require rapid assessment, resuscitation, and stabilization of their injuries. This course highlights the need for early recognition and timely intervention in specific life-threatening conditions.

Partners: Primary Trauma Care Foundation


SAFE* pediatric anesthesia course

This course focuses on the delivery of anesthesia to infants and children, management of anesthetic complications, pain management, trauma, specialized care of sick children, and newborn resuscitation and anesthesia. The course methodology was designed for use in low-income countries and primarily based on small group workshop style teaching sessions supplemented by only a few large group lectures. *SAFE – Safer Anesthesia From Education.

Partners: Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI)World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA)

SAFE* obstetric anesthesia course

This course focuses on the delivery of obstetric anesthesia as well as managing critical complications arising in obstetric surgery and birth. Modules are clinically relevant and address the core and extended parts of the anesthetic practitioner. The aim is to increase the quality of care given, safety in obstetric anesthesia medical practice, and situational and practical knowledge of all participants. *SAFE – Safer Anesthesia From Education.

Partners: Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI)World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA)

neonatal resuscitation course

The Neonatal Resuscitation Program conveys an evidence-based approach to care of newborns at birth and focuses on team-based care. Based on work completed in other African countries, Mercy Ships found that many healthcare providers are not aware of the best practices for reviving a baby after birth. These healthcare methods providers use are outdated, incorrect, and dangerous methods that may instead lead to the death of the baby. Therefore, the goal is to train healthcare providers in the best, research-based methods of performing neonatal resuscitation.


nutritional agriculture course

The course included both classroom and hands-on farming and nutrition instruction. Participants learned to enhance their ability to grow food and increase local food production utilizing sustainable, organic, and conservation-oriented farming methods. Training in food transformation was also provided throughout the course; examples included making yogurt, soy milk, and mango jam. Destructive practices such as slash-and-burn tactics and the use of harsh, expensive chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides were identified and discouraged. Alongside organic agriculture techniques, the agriculture team provided instruction in proper business practices and communication for development