Surgery & Disability

The Africa Mercy sailed away from Cameroon in June 2018, after a ten-month field service in the country.

While the ship was docked in the port city of Douala, our volunteer experts completed 2,746 surgeries, transforming the lives of 2,508 patients, their families and their communities. Here is a breakdown of the operations delivered by Mercy Ships in Cameroon:

82 Orthopaedic surgeries
442 Maxillofacial surgeries
165 Reconstructive plastic surgeries
237 General surgeries (eg hernias, goitres)
1,542 Ophthalmic surgeries
278 Women’s health surgeries

On top of this, 9,220 patients were treated by the Mercy Ships dental team, who delivered a total of 22,197 procedures.

The Ponseti clubfoot corrections team transformed the lives of 24 patients; and the palliative care team provided homecare for three terminally ill men and women.

As well as delivering direct medical interventions on the ground in Cameroon, Mercy Ships worked to improve the healthcare infrastructure across the country through training and mentoring of local surgical professionals, renovation of healthcare facilities, and provision of medical equipment.

The Mercy Ships capacity building team trained and mentored 1,564 local health professionals in a variety of specialisms. A total of 764 of these people received training in the WHO’s Surgical Safety Checklist in 37 hospitals across Cameroon, and Mercy Ships distributed 74 Lifebox Pulse Oximeters.

Sustainable renovations

Mercy Ships renovated an unused building at the Central Hospital Laquintinie to serve as its dental and eye clinics during the field service. This renovated building was returned to the hospital at the end of the field service. Mercy Ships also identified and renovated facilities adjacent to the Nylon District Hospital to serve as its outpatient facility, the HOPE Centre. This collection of buildings, which had formerly been used as a business development centre and warehouse, were given to the hospital at the end of the field service. They will now serve as an extension of the Nylon District Hospital.

In addition, Mercy Ships also renovated and refurbished the biomedical storage facility at the Central Hospital Laquintinie. This provided Mercy Ships with a suitable facility to support its biomedical training project, and also left behind a safe, secure, highly functional and hygienic workspace for the Cameroonian biomedical technicians working at the hospital.

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