Mercy Ships and African medical professionals working together to tackle COVID-19

Mercy Ships and African medical professionals working together to tackle COVID-19

Medical capacity building works. That is why Mercy Ships put it at the forefront of our work to ensure that everyone has access to safe, affordable surgery. While our programmes team continues to focus on strengthening healthcare systems in African nations, one of our training course alumnae, Dr Odry Agbessi, is responding to the threat and spread of coronavirus in her nation of Benin.

Dr Agbessi trained with Mercy Ships and is now the only reconstructive surgeon in the West African nation of Benin. She received specialist training onboard our hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. Now she volunteers her time to teach others both in partnership with Mercy Ships and in her home hospital, CNHU (Benin’s largest teaching hospital). Thanks to Dr Agbessi’s efforts, the Mercy Ships pain management course is now part of CNHU’s core curriculum for certain specialities.

Dr Agbessi teaching the Mercy Ships pain management course

Now she is working tirelessly to educate the rural population of Benin to the threat of COVID-19 and what can be done to reduce the risk of contracting the virus – through hand washing and wearing face masks. In addition to handwashing, the rural community learn about COVID-19 and the current pandemic and are given face masks and hygiene kits. The training is delivered in partnership with Mercy Ships and Via ME.

Teaching the importance of handwashing and proper technique

Dr Agbessi was recently interviewed for TBN, you can see her episode here.

‘For us in Benin, the most important thing is prevention… We lack ventilators and also supplies for resuscitation units. We do not have enough. When you face danger and you do not have anything to fight back, you just put yourself in the hands of God. So, we are just praying and educating our population.’

To support Dr Agbessi and Mercy Ships as we work together to keep people safe and strengthen healthcare systems in West Africa please donate here.



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