Surgery & Disability

The Africa Mercy was docked in Tamatave, Madagascar, for ten months in 2015/16, where the volunteer crew delivered 1,682 surgeries and 29,043 dental procedures, and trained and mentored 1,546 health professionals.

As part of the five-year cycle, an internal but independent team returns to the host country 12 to 24 months after project completion. This team conducts a thorough evaluation on the status of the project’s sustainability, identifying any external variables that may positively or negatively affect the project’s overall success. This information is used for continual project design improvements in future field services.

In 2017, this Mercy Ships team returned to Madagascar to evaluate the effectiveness of its capacity building programmes. The following areas were assessed:

Use/maintenance of project materials and donated equipment

Whether capacity building participants were sharing knowledge and training others

How the training affected daily work practices/the lives of staff

How training impacted the hospital as a whole

Participants' recommendations for improvements/additional feedback on training (after two years)

Recommendations to improve survey tools for future evaluations

A report is being written based on these findings, which will then inform all future field services and other NGOs.

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