Mercy Ships conducts 1,979 surgeries in Sierra Leone

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By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

The Global Mercy Ship has concluded its field service in Sierra Leone, performing 1,979 free surgical operations, confirmed by Dr. Sandra Lako, Country Director of Global Mercy Ship. The ship is set to return to Sierra Leone in mid-August for another ten-month mission.

At a briefing on Friday, June 28, 2024, Dr. Lako detailed the significant impact of the mission. Mercy Ships, an international faith-based organization, has been partnering with African nations for over three decades, providing free surgeries and training local healthcare professionals.

Over the past ten months, the Global Mercy Ship achieved life-changing transformations through 1,979 surgeries on 1,728 patients across various specialties. Additionally, 171 healthcare professionals from Sierra Leone received training, and 145 engaged in on-ship mentorship. Six Sierra Leonean students enrolled in a dental education program, and 20 registered nurses joined a nurse anesthesia diploma program at the University of Sierra Leone.

Since its founding in 1978, Mercy Ships has operated with the help of over 3,000 volunteer professionals annually from more than 60 countries. The organization has visited Sierra Leone five times previously, with the most recent mission being it sixth.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Clinical, Ministry of Health, Dr. Mustapha Kabba, praised the Global Mercy Ship for its humanitarian efforts, highlighting the free, high-quality surgical operations and the training provided to local medical practitioners.

He also expressed gratitude for the free meals, transportation, physiotherapy, and the employment of 300 Sierra Leoneans on the ship, which helps reduce the country’s unemployment rate.

Patient Selection Supervisor, Mercy Ship, Marian Ibrahim, noted that the turnout for registration has been high so far. The ship’s return in August 2024 is eagerly anticipated, promising continued transformation and support for Sierra Leone’s healthcare system.

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