Mercy Ships, a floating state-of-the-art hospital performs its 100,000th free surgical procedure in Africa

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The Mercy Ships charity organization is celebrating its 100,000th surgical procedure, which took place in the West African country of Guinea last week.

Over the last four decades, the ships’ surgeons have performed surgeries in 56 developing countries.

They have treated patients with tumors, cataracts, burns, obstetric fistulae or bone deformities, among others.

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The 100, 000th free surgery celebration comes amid ongoing efforts to bring health care and hope to patients across the globe who cannot have immediate access to safe medical treatment. 

Don Stephens founded Mercy Ships in 1978 with the purchase of the Anastasis, where he and his family lived for ten years. During his time as President, Don directed and led thousands of professional volunteers from over 40 nations with offices in 16 countries.

The organization’s 100,000th surgical procedure repaired a 7-month-old girl’s debilitating cleft lip.

Little Aissata is said to be doing great after being discharged.

“I have always been very worried about her future and what would happen to her if I didn’t get her the surgery she needs,” said Aissata’s mother, Hassanatou, after traveling more than 200 miles to meet the Africa Mercy. 

“But now that she has come here to the ship, I am no longer worried.”

On its website, Mercy Ships says it follows “the 2000-year-old model of Jesus, bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor”.

Mercy Ships says it uses hospital ships to transform lives and serve nations, one at a time.

The ship, which operates as a floating, state-of-the-art hospital is staffed with volunteer doctors and caregivers. There are also volunteer administrators as well as engineers, plumbers and chefs.

 ‘Mercy Ships’ seeks to provide medical care to those who cannot get it elsewhere, especially with about five billion people around the world who cannot get surgery if they need it.

“Everyone here is just so willing to help each other out,” Dr. Brian Barki, anesthesia supervisor and deputy chief medical officer on the Mercy Ships vessel known as Africa Mercy, currently stationed near Guinea, told Fox News.

“Not just in the operating room, either. Everyone is working toward a common goal, and that’s to take care of the patients.”

Barki is just one of approximately 400 volunteers lending their time, knowledge and skills to bring much-needed care to those in need.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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