A floating hospital for the most needy

hospital ship

Martine Bernier

Health journalist, editor-in-chief

April 10, 2022

Mercy Ships is an international charity. They provide free healthcare for people who need it most, operating in non-governmental hospitals. Their mission in West Africa is to make free surgical care possible for the people who cannot afford it otherwise. Around 400 volunteers of all ages and professions are working at all times. On the other help, some contribute with financial support. Shockingly, around 5 billion people haven’t good enough access to proper health care, and Mercy Ships aims to improve that. This floating hospital for the most needy was established in 1978 and their goal hasn’t wavered since!

Want to read more? Keep reading the article by Martine Bernier.

Mercy Ships’ mission is to make free surgical care in West Africa accessible to people who cannot afford it. At the same time, Mercy Ships provides training and education for local medical professionals.

5 billion people do not have good enough access to general surgical care. Mercy Ships was founded in Lausanne in 1978: The aid organisation helps to close this gap by giving the poorest people in Africa access to specific medical care with hospital ships. On board, 400 people of all ages and professions work on a voluntary basis. Others help with financial support such as estate planning and inheritances. Françoise André is now a member of the board of Mercy Ships Switzerland. She has been involved with Mercy Ships since the very first missions. “From the beginning, I was excited by the somewhat crazy vision of my friends Don and Deyon: we never imagined that Mercy Ships would evolve from a decommissioned cruise ship into the organisation it is today. I am still moved today by the commitment of all those who help by investing their time, money and energy!”

A legacy for future generations

Mercy Ships is now looking to the future: the organisation will soon commission the newly built hospital ship, the Global Mercy. The ship will provide safe and hygienic surgical environments in African countries. In the ship’s 50-year expected lifespan, it is estimated that more than 150,000 lives will be changed by the operations on board alone. You too can look to the future: everyone can help with a donation or a legacy and bring hope and healing to those most in need, both now and in the decades to come.

Passing on love with a legacy

Passing on one’s legacy is a free and conscious act of generosity. Allowing Mercy Ships to share in the legacy offers a second chance to those most in need: people with illnesses that keep them away from society and weaken them are given renewed hope. Leave an imprint of love and take part in a great human adventure that will last for many decades to come thanks to the new ship! Are you thinking about making a legacy? Let a trusted person advise you on your decision. I am there for you, confidentially and discreetly.

Worldwide, 5 billion people do not have adequate access to surgical care. Mercy Ships’ mission is to use hospital ships to make free healthcare available in developing countries to those who could not afford it.

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