So why does our hospital ship have an agriculture program? Well, not only do we want to meet people’s immediate surgical needs; we also want to see a medium to long term improvement in general health in the countries where we work. One of the major factors in preventing disease and many medical problems is nutrition so for us it’s part of our preventative medicine program.
That’s why we developed our agriculture course that trains local people to teach ecological, sustainable farming methods that produce up to 5 times the results, at a much lower cost, than the other methods commonly used. They are also taught business planning and food handling techniques. Just recently 25 trainees in Congo have completed the course which will allow them to provide for their families and at the same time teach their friends, neighbours and even other villages how to use these same techniques.