Surgery & Disability

The Africa Mercy departed from Cotonou, in Benin, on 3 June 2017, after a ten-month stay in the port city. While docked in Benin, the volunteer crew onboard completed 1,957 surgeries, transforming the lives of 1,793 patients and their families.

More than 5,800 people were screened by Mercy Ships experts across Benin and at the screening centre in Cotonou, during August and September 2016. Here is a breakdown of the surgical services delivered over the subsequent ten months:

78 Orthopaedic surgeries
494 Maxillofacial surgeries
182 Reconstructive plastic surgeries
451 General surgeries
676 Ophthalmic surgeries
52 Women’s health surgeries
24 Ambulatory surgeries

On top of this, 6,942 patients were treated by the Mercy Ships dental experts, who delivered a total of 16,489 procedures.

The Ponseti clubfoot corrections team completed 315 procedures, transforming 20 patients’ lives; and the palliative care team provided homecare for 26 terminally ill adults and children.

As well as delivering direct medical interventions on the ground in Benin, Mercy Ships worked hard to equip local medical staff with the knowledge and facilities needed to continue Mercy Ships work after the ship left Cotonou.

The Mercy Ships capacity building team trained and mentored 1,962 local health professionals in a variety of specialisms. A total of 877 of these people received training in the WHO’s Surgical Safety Checklist in 38 hospitals across Benin, and Mercy Ships distributed seven Lifebox Pulse Oximeters. Two facilities – at the Centre de Sante de Zogbo and the Centre de Sante de Missessin – were renovated, to function as the Mercy Ships dental clinic and HOPE Centre.

After the field service, these renovated facilities were returned to the local health suppliers.

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