Medical Training

Building Capacity to Save More Lives

When our ships depart a site, we strive to help leave an improved healthcare system in our wake. Before, during, and after our field services, Mercy Ships implements healthcare training projects that teach the medical knowledge, skills, and attitude needed to provide hope and healing to patients long after our field service. The Mercy Ships Medical Capacity Building projects help strengthen the standards of surgical care within the local communities of the countries we serve. The legacy is a lasting impact that extends for years — and even generations.

Limited Resources. Limited Training.

Mercy Ships addresses the many challenges to developing healthcare delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, including:

Many medical facilities in sub-Saharan Africa operate with limited resources, including medical supplies, electricity, and even clean water.

Many hospitals are understaffed and have limited training.

In the regions where Mercy Ships works, nearly half of African-born physicians migrate to work in the US or Europe.

(Statistic source: Clemens, Michael A, and Gunilla Pettersson. Center for Global Development. Human Resources for Health. New data on African health professionals abroad. 2008 6:1)

What is medical capacity building?

At Mercy Ships, we believe we have been called to strengthen the surgical health system from the grassroots to the government level. We want to join the efforts around the world to transform surgery globally by providing:

High-quality medical education programs and quality improvement initiatives in Anesthesia, Surgeon mentoring, Surgical Nursing — Ward and OR, Biomed, Sterile Processing, Ponseti and Nutrition (Food for life)

Targeted donations and infrastructure projects

Support to the local government in influencing policy development such as the implementation of WHO Safe Surgical Checklist and National Surgical Plans

Data collection for use in research and impact evaluation

Unique Solutions

Mercy Ships provides essential capacity building projects requested by the nations we serve to help the local country to deliver healthcare more safely and with greater knowledge, tools, and resources. Our Capacity Building projects aim to strengthen local healthcare systems. Learn more about Mercy Ships medical capacity building below.


Mercy Ships provides mentoring programs for surgeons, anesthesia providers, ward nurses, operating nurses and biomedical technicians.


Mercy Ships courses include essential surgical skills, primary trauma care, SAFE obstetrics and pediatrics, and WHO checklist training.

Infrastructure & Renovations

Mercy Ships provides the HOPE center, dental clinic, and eye clinic, while in port as well as completes local hospital infrastructure renovations.