In 2018, Mercy Ships began a long-term partnership with the Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry (UGANC) dental school. Mercy Ships supported the renovation and equipping of the dentistry department, building a dental simulation room, training lab, and clinical suite. Gamal Dental School has successfully seen a total of over 100 students graduate, and more than five dental students have completed an 18-month clinical internship.
In 2022, Mercy Ships began an education investment program, and is now sponsoring nine dental students to receive specialized degrees at a partner university in Morocco. They plan to return to UGANC to become teachers and leaders, passing on their education to the next generation of dentists in Guinea.
Mercy Ships is further supporting two dental school graduates as they open their own clinics in rural areas of Guinea, and partnering with NGO Hope Ignited to open the first pediatric center in the country.
The partnership with the UGANC dental school opened doors for Mercy Ships to support other programs at the university, including biomedical technician and nurse anesthesia training. Today, the Gamal Anesthesia Training Center has an annual class of 20 students and plans to start a specialty anesthesia program for doctors in 2026. Mercy Ships has also sponsored several medical doctors in Guinea to receive training in anesthesia, with the goal of doubling the number of anesthesia specialists in the country.