Ministry of Health extends Mercy Ships stay in Sierra Leone to provide life-changing surgeries

Sierra Leonean people welcoming Mercy Ships

Ministry of Health extends Mercy Ships stay in Sierra Leone to provide life-changing surgeries

The Ministry of Health has today announced the extension of the Global Mercy’s stay in Sierra Leone. This affirms the commitment to addressing the surgical needs of the Sierra Leonean people and advancing healthcare education in the region.

Since its arrival in Freetown in August 2023, the Global Mercy – Mercy Ships’ largest and newest hospital ship – has been delivering essential surgical services in alignment with Sierra Leone’s strategic healthcare plan. Responding to President Julius Maada Bio’s invitation, the ship’s presence underscores a dedication to enhancing healthcare infrastructure and accessibility.

Scheduled for a short annual maintenance stint in Tenerife this June, the Global Mercy will resume its operations in Sierra Leone in August. The continuation of its mission will offer free surgeries across various specialties, including maxillofacial, general, paediatrics, orthopaedics, reconstructive plastic and ophthalmic procedures.

Patient registration, facilitated by Mercy Ships in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, will be conducted on designated dates and locations, to be announced in June. Registration remains free of charge, ensuring equitable access to surgical care for all.

Over the years, Mercy Ships has performed over 10,200 surgical procedures during its field services in Sierra Leone since 1992, underscoring its enduring commitment to the nation’s healthcare needs. The news has been celebrated by the government and the people of Sierra Leone. In a country where there are only 25 surgeons for a population of 8 million people, there is a real need for safe, affordable healthcare.

Mercy Ships UK CEO Joanne Balaam was delighted with the news and thanked donors for making it possible.

She said:

“We are pleased that the Global Mercy’s healthcare service will be extended in Sierra Leone. The need is great in Sierra Leone, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the government to improve healthcare over the coming months. This is made possible by the generosity of our donors, and many of our philanthropic partners, including the Rotary Foundation who donated $1.1m towards building this charity hospital ship.”