Current situation of “Mercy Ship” during global COVID-19.

Dear collaborator,

The hospital ship, the Africa Mercy has recently arrived at the port of Granadilla, Spain after having served eight months in the port of Dakar, Senegal.

While docked in Granadilla, pre-planned annual maintenance will be performed on the ship. Since 2009, this maintenance has been regularly performed and the Africa Mercy has become a familiar site in the Santa Cruz area.

This is the first time the ship has docked in Granadilla for annual maintenance. Our goal is for the Africa Mercy to be fully prepared to return to Africa as soon as the global COVID-19 situation has subsided in order to continue the fulfillment of our mission of bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor.

During the 2019-2020 field service in Senegal, more than 1,400 life-changing operations were performed onboard. Volunteer dental professionals treated 5,600 patients at a land-based dental clinic. In addition, training for 1,290 local doctors was conducted through mentoring and courses in partnership with 17 hospitals throughout Senegal.

Mercy Ships continues to evaluate the pandemic situation globally and explore how to proactively collaborate with partner countries, crew and staff during these challenging times. Measures already taken include:

• Increased development of the Mercy Ships capacity building programs online in order to continue to support medical staff within partner locations in Africa with particular focus on care for critically ill patients. These skills are important for caring for both surgical patients and those with COVID-19 infections.

• Provision of continued online program support to the Gamal Dental School in Guinea.

• A donation of $150,000 US to the COVID-19 fund in Senegal designated for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 cases. A gift of medical supplies valued at $120,000 US to support medical workers in the fight against COVID-19 to five nations in Africa: Sierra Leone, Benin, Liberia, Togo and Madagascar.

• Donation of medical materials from the Africa Mercy to the Red Cross in Tenerife; from the Mercy Ships logistics center in the U.S. for use in local hospitals, fire departments, elderly care as well as donation of medical supplies and other goods from the charity’s logistics center in the Netherlands.

Lastly, we want you to know that a law has been published this month, expanding tax deductions for donations to NGOs. Thus, effective from January 1, 2020, the first € 150 donated have a bonus of 80% (€ 120), so the actual financial effort will be € 30. Anything over € 150 has a 35% tax deduction. In addition, this percentage of 35% on the surplus increases to 40% if in the two previous immediate tax periods the same entity has been donated for an amount equal to or greater, in each of them, than the previous year. Your donation now has more advantages and allows us to continue bringing health and hope to so many in need.

All this work would not be possible without your support. Your willingness to give of your time as a volunteer, your donations and your help to spread what we do make possible the continuity of the work that allows to change the lives of children and adults, even in turbulent times, in so many nations.

To finish, we invite you to see the video of what we could do in Senegal with your help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1Fic23VbKM

On behalf of Mercy Ships, Thank you very much!