The Global Mercy carries out first humanitarian mission.
The world’s largest civilian hospital ship, the Global Mercy, has joined its sister ship, the Africa Mercy in the port of Dakar, Senegal. Since the arrival of the Africa Mercy in Senegal in early February, Mercy Ships volunteer surgeons have performed more than 270 free surgeries aboard the hospital ship.
The Global Mercy is not only a hospital ship. In addition to having 6 operating rooms, capacity for 200 patients, day hospital, pharmacy, laboratory, and the most advanced equipment and technology, it is a university hospital. Its training rooms, its virtual simulation laboratory, allow it to provide future surgeons, healthcare personnel and biomedical engineers with unique training opportunities, so that they can learn new techniques and resources.
On its first humanitarian mission, in the port of Dakar, medical training is being held on the Global Mercy in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Republic of Senegal, as part of the medical training programs of Mercy Ships. Under Mercy Ships’ Medical Capacity Building program, world-class medical professionals are training local doctors, nurses and biomedical engineers so that they can perform safer surgeries for their future patients.
Over the course of four weeks, our volunteers will have trained and educated more than 300 participants in various courses, exceeding 4,500 hours of training. They will have been trained in essential surgical techniques, obstetric anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, perioperative nursing care, neonatal resuscitation and biomedical equipment maintenance, among other courses.
Dr. Odry Agbessi, a surgeon from Benin, a volunteer with Ships of Hope who has provided training in essential surgical techniques during this time tells us: “Most of the time, in Africa, we go directly to the patient. We don’t have a place for simulation, to be able to practice.” Without the ability to practice before performing surgeries on real patients, surgeons might not learn proper procedures. “All of them-even those who are already surgeons or close to being surgeons-say they have learned that they do a lot of things incorrectly,” Dr. Agbessi explains to us about the seven students who have attended her course. “Participating in this course gives them the opportunity to change.”
As with everything we do at Naves de Esperanza, these training sessions were free of charge for the participants. They have not had to pay anything in terms of course expenses, accommodation, meals, materials used and printed documentation provided.
We invite you to continue to make it possible, thanks to your donations, for us to continue bringing health and hope to those most in need, both through free surgeries and by training and educating local health professionals.