H.E. President Macky Sall leads inauguration of the world’s largest purpose-built hospital ship, the Global Mercy™

DAKAR, Senegal, May 31, 2022/APO Group/ H.E. President of Senegal Macky Sall has inaugurated the world’s largest purpose-built hospital ship and committed to accelerate access to surgical, obstetric, and anesthetic care for the nations of Africa.  Ceremonies commemorated more than 30 years of service in Africa.  International humanitarian organization Mercy Ships and its partners in Africa used the opportunity to come together in an unprecedented and strategic effort to improve access to safer surgery across the continent through a series of milestone events.

The world’s largest civilian floating hospital ship, Global Mercy™, arrives in Dakar, Senegal as first African port of call

DAKAR, Senegal, May 27, 2022/APO Group/ – The Global Mercy™ ship, purpose-built by international NGO Mercy Ships to provide surgical care to populations abroad, arrived in the port of Dakar, Senegal today. While in port, the crew of the 37,000 GRT hospital ship will participate in a week of ceremonies and events to inaugurate this new vessel into service in Africa, hosted by H.E. President Macky Sall. In addition, medical and training crew will carry out capacity building sessions onboard during the month of June alongside the surgeries on the Africa Mercy® which has been docked in the Autonomous Port of Dakar since February.

Global Mercy™ begins local healthcare training, following historic week of events in Dakar

DAKAR, Senegal, June 06, 2022: In the midst of celebrations around the arrival of the Global Mercy™ to Senegal, training has already begun by the crew of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, currently docked in Dakar for its first African mission. In June, more than 260 Senegalese healthcare professionals will receive training on board this brand-new hospital ship, through a variety of courses, including Surgical Skills, SAFE Anesthesia, Nursing Skills, and more.  These first of many training sessions will address topics impacting delivery of safe surgical care.

Senegal Hospital Fire

Senegal hospital fire: Eleven newborn babies die in Tivaouane As Mercy Ships we are heartbroken by the recent tragedy in Senegal. An accident in a hospital in Senegal on May 25 has cost the lives of 11 newborn babies. President Macky Sall has declared three days of national mourning in memory of the victims of the tragedy at the Mame Abdou Aziz hospital in Tivaouane. Our deepest sympathies and shared mourning are with HE President Macky Sall and the people of Senegal regarding the tragic hospital fire and loss of infant lives.

Dakar Declaration Media Advisory

His Excellency, President Macky Sall to Welcome Heads of State to Dakar to accelerate access to safe surgical, obstetric and anesthetic care in Africa by 2030. Invited delegations set to approve a Dakar Declaration to expedite improvements in surgical care for their nations as part of inaugural ceremonies on board the world’s largest civilian purpose-built hospital ship, Global Mercy™

Safer Surgery by 2030: Medical Experts and Health Ministers Gather for Breakthrough Symposium in Senegal

Dakar, SENEGAL - 12 May 2022. Following a three-day International Symposium bringing together medical experts from 29 African countries, Ministers of Health from around Africa converged in an historic moment to draft a clear path towards wider and safer access to surgical care in Africa by 2030. 

International Symposium Media Advisory

International Symposium on Strengthening Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthetic Care Systems in Africa to be hosted in May by the Government of Senegal and with the support of Mercy Ships

International Symposium on Strengthening Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthetic Care Systems in Africa

DAKAR, SENEGAL - 27 April 2022: As Mercy Ships marks its 30 years of service in Africa, the global humanitarian organisation will strengthen its partnerships with African countries and stakeholders in the health sector by co-hosting a number of events in May and June 2022. The first event will be an International Symposium (IS) on Strengthening Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthetic Care Systems in Africa by 2030 between May 4 - 6 in Dakar, Senegal.

World Health Day: Partnering with Africa for a Healthier Future

“A big thing about capacity building is training individual workers in different skills, but also training them to train others,” said Dr. John. “So that when we leave, they can continue scaling up that work.” The Africa MercyⓇ and her crew have been offering direct care and training for years. But now with the completion of the newer and larger Global MercyⓇ, the Mercy Ships capacity for both surgery and mentoring will more than double.

Global Mercy™ Announcement

Mercy Ships announces its second hospital ship: the Global Mercy™

The international humanitarian non-governmental organization strives to increase access

 to safe and quality surgical care in Africa.

COTONOU, BENIN – October 6, 2020 – Mercy Ships unveils its new hospital ship, the Global Mercy, which will join the Africa Mercy, in service in Africa since 2007.  Dr. Pierre M’Pelé, Director of the Mercy Ships Africa Bureau, announces that the Global Mercy is scheduled to begin service in Africa in 2021 and relays the cry from the hearts of Africans who say “Thank you to Mercy Ships.”

Every year, 16.9 million people around the world die due to lack of access to surgical care and 93% of sub-Saharan Africa still lack this access. Between 1990 and 2020, Mercy Ships has performed more than 100,000 free surgical procedures, trained more than 40,000 medical professionals, renovated more than 100 health facilities, and implemented more than 1,000 community projects in Africa. The Global Mercy will more than double the impact of Mercy Ships on the African continent.

Since 1990, Mercy Ships has been bringing hope and healing to the African people and has conducted more than 30 humanitarian missions in 14 African countries (Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Africa, Togo).

“As COVID-19 threatens the stability of already fragile healthcare systems globally, the need to provide accessible, life-saving surgical care is greater than ever. The Global Mercy represents a unique call to support the strengthening of healthcare systems in Africa on behalf of the most vulnerable,” comments Rosa Whitaker, President for Mercy Ships.

The Global Mercy is a modern, state-of-the-art hospital ship, equipped with six surgical operating rooms. She will also provide a specialized training platform for African surgeons, obstetricians, dentists and anesthesiologists, including a simulation laboratory for surgical and post-operative care.


About Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building, and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 developing countries, providing services valued at more than $1.7 billion and directly benefitting more than 2.8 million people. Our ships are crewed by volunteers from over 50 nations, with an average of over 2000 volunteers each year. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills. With 16 national offices and an Africa Bureau, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations. For more information click on


* * *



A few facts about the Global Mercy  

– Length: 174 meters

– Weight: 37,000 tons

– 6 operating rooms

– Capacity: Over 600 professional volunteers from around the world representing a variety of disciplines, including surgeons, mariners, cooks, teachers, electricians, reception staff and many more.

– Spaces have been designed to host up to 950 crew and guests, including a 682-seat auditorium, a school, a gymnasium, a pool, a café, a store and a library when the ship is docked.

CONTACT : Dr. Pierre M’Pelé

Mercy Ships Africa Bureau

CONTACT: Diane Rickard

International Media, Mercy Ships

African initiative #AfricaThanksMercyShips

The #AfricaThanksMercyShips initiative is the heartfelt call from the hearts of African music artists expressing the gratitude on behalf of thousands of African patients whose lives have been transformed by Mercy Ships’ surgeons and nurses.

The Beninese musicians are the first to engage in the campaign to say “Mercy Ships Thank you” through a professional video clip that conveys compassion and humanity.

Mercy Ships has successfully completed five humanitarian missions in Benin which have restored hope and healing to thousands of suffering people and has established its regional office for Africa in Cotonou, Benin.

Mercy Ships and Benin have maintained an exceptional partnership in the strengthening of the national healthcare system since 1997. In Benin, Mercy Ships has renovated and equipped health facilities, strengthened the technical skills of hundreds of health professionals, and supported Benin’s efforts in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Musicians and artists from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Togo will join the campaign.

The Beninese music artists are launching the campaign a week after Mercy Ships announcement of the deployment of a second hospital ship in 2021, the Global Mercy, which will join the Africa Mercy, in operation in Africa since 2007. As a result, Mercy Ships’ capacity will be multiplied to bring more hope, more healing, and transform even more lives.

The Global Mercy is a modern and high-performance hospital ship. It is equipped with six surgical operating rooms. It will provide African surgeons, obstetricians, dentists and anesthesiologists with a dedicated training platform including a simulation laboratory for surgical operations and post-operative care. The Global Mercy will therefore double Mercy Ships’ capacity in Africa: “Double the Hope. Double the Healing”.

About the Beninese artist-musicians “Friends of Mercy Ships“.

Les TéribaTatiana and Carine AHISSOU, two sisters form the group which celebrates the Beninese musical legacy. Les Tériba distinguish themselves with their acoustic music, “a capella” songs with traditional African melodies and rhythms.

Nikanor : Rn’B singer, Hervé Jean François AHEHEHINNOU is one of the most loved voices by the Beninese youth. His clips count more than a million views on Youtube. https:/

Faty : Fatima KOUCHEKEHO, Beninese singer and performer is the voice of world music, jazz and Afro-Pop in Benin.

Gangbé Brass Band: A brass band founded in 1994 based on the model of the New Orleans jazz band. It is a group of eight musicians considered to be one of the most important brass bands in Africa. The group is recognized worldwide for the authenticity and uniqueness of its art. The leader of the clan, Athanase DEHOUMON is an exceptional trumpet player with such a wonderful sound.

Zeynab HABIB: Winner of the Kora Awards 2005 “Best Female Artist of West Africa” and the Africa Awards 2016 “Best Traditional Music Artist”, Zeynab is a Beninese music diva.

Pépit’art: A group of thirty children, mostly girls, who beat Tam-Tam as their ancestors did. They transmit the message of peace and the joy of living in the Beninese tradition.

Mercy Ships stands with 11 West and Central African partner nations in Coronavirus fight

PPE is donated to Ghana via Mercy Ships Board Members. (L-R): Rosa Whitaker, President, Mercy Ships; Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Services; Dr. Juliette Tuakli, Mercy Ships International Board Member; Lucy Quist, Mercy Ships International Board Member.

ACCRA GHANA – 18 June 2020 — Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Services, took delivery of a donation of PPE designated for the nation of Ghana today by Mercy Ships President Rosa Whitaker on behalf of the charity to support the national battle with coronavirus.

“We applaud Ghana’s fight against this virus,” stated Whitaker. “Mercy Ships is committed to build on the collaboration between NGOs, the private sector and the public sector and encourages others to do the same,” she added.

“Although many have predicted that the pandemic is inevitable within Africa and that this continent will soon become the epicenter of the new outbreak, we stand with our African partners at this crucial time. It is our hope and belief that nations can get ahead of this curve and hold back the relentless effects that this pandemic could have on our formal and informal economies and people,” stated Whitaker.

“For more than 30 years, Mercy Ships has stood shoulder to shoulder with our African partners to address the global surgery crisis.  Even though borders are closed, and we cannot physically be present right now, Mercy Ships continues to conduct online medical capacity training and support ongoing projects with partners on the ground.  We are committed for our ship to return to help strengthen healthcare systems within West and Central Africa, as soon as the global situation allows,” said Whitaker.

Mercy Ships has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to eight partner nations within West and Central Africa: Benin, Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo totaling 80,800 items and 20 infrared thermometers and will donate PPE to an additional three countries Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Guinea.

The donation to Ghana includes 9000 (PPE) items consisting of: 1,500 nursing caps, 1,500 medical protective glasses, 1,500 masks FFP2, 1,500 pairs of gloves, 1,500 surgical gowns, 1,500 pairs of shoe covers and five Infrared Thermometers (IT).

The people of Ghana hold a warm place in the hearts of all Mercy Ships crew, volunteers, and international staff, said Whitaker.  Mercy Ships has been involved with Ghana since 1991 and a Mercy Ship has docked four times in Ghana.  (1)   The Africa Mercy has 85 long/short term crew from Africa, 10 of whom are Ghanaians in roles ranging from engineering to HR.

The donation was made in the presence of Dr Juliette Tuakli and Lucy Quist, Mercy Ships International Board Members who reside in Ghana.

(1)      Mercy Ships field services to Ghana: (1991, 1994-1995, 2006-2007 and 2011-2012).

Coronavirus: Benin Government Received New Donations

To respond effectively to the pandemic of the new Covid-19 coronavirus, donations continue to flow to the Ministry of Health. In response to the government’s appeal for solidarity, several structures supported the state on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

The donors’ ballet of the day was opened by Aviation Handling Services (AHS). The transport and logistics company specializing in air cargo has handed over a check worth 15 million CFA francs to the order of the Ministry of Health. A financial donation that follows a previous donation of equipment, said Pétas Akogbéto, representative of the Minister of Health.

In addition to AHS, three other structures have succeeded in giving donations of materials. These are the Beninese Football Federation and the international NGOs Direct-Aid and Mercy Ships. said Dr. Pierre Mpélé, Africa Director of NGO Mercy Ships. In addition to the hydroalcoholic masks and gels offered, the resident representative of Direct Aid, for its part, announced an upcoming donation of food to the people of Benin.


UNGA Reception in NYC

During UNGA in New York, African heads of state and AfroChampions companies gather to focus on global surgery crisis and celebrate nonprofit that provides free healthcare in Africa

NEW YORK (September 27, 2019) –  At a reception Wednesday hosted by Mercy Ships and the AfroChampions Initiative, African heads of state and prominent business leaders came together in support of the work Mercy Ships is doing to address the surgery crisis in Africa. Worldwide, 5 billion people do not have access to safe, affordable, timely surgery, and in sub-Saharan Africa 93 percent of the population cannot get the surgery it needs. 1

Organized under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, president of the Republic of Senegal, and H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and patron of the AfroChampions Initiative, the reception was attended by more than 200 people. These included business leaders, heads of state and government representatives from the Union of Comoros, the Republic of Ghana, the Republic of Togo, the Republic of Madagascar and the Republic of Senegal, as well as the Director General of the World Health Organization, and representatives of the World Bank and the United Nations. The event focused on the global surgery crisis and raised funds to support the successful efforts in Africa of Mercy Ships, which addresses this severe surgical need by providing free healthcare to their nations.

Mercy Ships offers treatments, infrastructures and trainings of medical staff, and therefore creates lasting change in Africa,” said Edem Adzogenu, co-founder and chair of the Executive Committee, AfroChampions Initiative. “Their work is fully aligned with the AfroChampions Initiative’s vision, and there was no hesitation from our side when they asked for our support on this sensitization campaign. Response from the AfroChampions corporate network has been positive, with substantial commitments — we are proud to see that the African private sector starts to appreciate the issue and understands that we now need an Africa that is self-sustained in health. We look forward to building more partnerships between Mercy Ships and our champions in the future.”

Mercy Ships is honored to work with these African nations to support them in building self-sustaining health care systems, to change and save significantly more lives, and to have a lasting impact across the countries of Africa,” Mercy Ships founder Don Stephens said.

The global surgery crisis results in more annual deaths than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. To address this crisis in Africa, Mercy Ships sends hospital ships staffed by volunteer medical professionals to the places where surgeons are needed most. These surgeons also train local medical staff who will stay in their home countries, effecting change long after Mercy Ships departs. Mercy Ships has touched more than 2.7 million lives since the nonprofit was founded in 1978.

Learn more about the organization, including donation and volunteer opportunities, at

1 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery


Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 developing countries, providing services valued at more than $1.53 billion, treating more than 2.71 million direct beneficiaries. Our ships are crewed by volunteers from over 50 nations, an average of over 1,000 volunteers each year. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers and agriculturalists donate their time and skills. With 16 national offices and our African Bureau, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. For more information:

About the AfroChampions Initiative

The AfroChampions Initiative is a public-private partnership designed to galvanize African resources and institutions to drive further Africa’s economic integration; as a consequence, the Initiative supports the emergence and success of African corporate champions, which have a critical role in integrating African markets and accelerating the transformation of the continent.