young female patient is assisted by Mercy Ships palliative volunteer

Unfortunately, not every person who comes to the Africa Mercy with a physical or medical need will benefit from an operation. For many, the ship arrives too late—their condition has progressed beyond the point where medical help will bring healing. While those with terminal illnesses are suffering from physical, spiritual and emotional pain, their families are also suffering alongside them.

The Mercy Ships Palliative Care Team assists these patients and families during this sensitive time.

We train family and caretakers in meeting the physical needs of these patients. Often, the terminally ill patients are the primary breadwinners of their families. In these cases, Mercy Ships works with surviving family members to develop new income opportunities. We follow the model of Jesus as we tenderly care for dying patients and their grieving families and we invite local religious leaders to offer spiritual and practical support.