Mercy Ships Announces Sierra Leone Field Service

Mercy Ships has selected Sierra Leone as the site for the 2011 Field
Service for the world’s largest charity hospital ship, the Africa
. This will be the fourth time that Mercy Ships has delivered free
world-class medical care to the impoverished West African nation. The Sierra
Leone government was represented by vice president, Sam-Sumana, and Mercy Ships
was represented by Don Stephens, founder and president. The agreement provides
the necessary collaboration with the Sierra Leone government in regard to the
port, security, water and sanitation. It also opens the door for the Mercy
Ships Advance Team to do the preliminary work necessary for the upcoming Field

Health care in Sierra Leone is unaffordable and often unavailable. The
country ranks 180 out of 182 nations on the 2009 Human Development Index, and
the majority of the population lives on less than $2 per day. Infant mortality
in Sierra Leone is 159 per 1000 births as compared to the USA at 6.3 per 1000
births. Dental care is another illustration of the conditions within the
country, with one dentist for every one million people and 6,000 dentists per
million people in the U.S.

The 10-month 2011 Field Service will once again bring hope and healing
to Sierra Leone. The state-of-the-art hospital ship, the Africa
, contains six operating theaters and will provide free medical
care. The off-ship eye clinic and dental clinic will offer additional medical

Mercy Ships looks forward to their continued partnership with the West
African Fistula Centre in Aberdeen founded in 2004. The clinic is now under the
management of the Freedom from Fistula Foundation.

The hospital ship will also serve as a platform for training African
health care professionals and for community development teams. These programs
ensure that the positive impact of Mercy Ships will continue long after the
ship leaves Sierra Leone.

“Sierra Leone holds a special place in the heart of Mercy
Ships,” Stephens said. “We are looking forward to building upon the
foundation we established in three previous visits.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.