Florence Bangura’s history with Mercy Ships spans 20 years, covering two countries, three ships, and four field services. At the age of 29, Florence worked as a welder on board the very first Mercy Ships hospital ship, the Anastasis, just a week after becoming officially certified in her trade. She later came on board the Africa Mercy® as a national day crewmember when it visited her home country of Sierra Leone in 2011, and in 2018 returned to the ship during its field service in the neighboring nation of Guinea.

Transforming Sierra Leone’s Healthcare: A Vision for Safe and Affordable Surgery

As experts from the surgical and healthcare world gather for the 64th Annual Conference and Scientific Meeting of the West African College of Surgeons in Sierra Leone this week, a profound dedication to advancing surgical knowledge and practice in the region is palpable. At the forefront of discussions lies the conference's pivotal theme: access to safe and affordable surgical and anesthetic care in West Africa. This theme highlights the pressing need to address disparities in healthcare capabilities and capacities across the region, especially the critical importance of equitable access to quality surgical interventions.

Reuniting with Vanya, Years After Surgery

In 2015, in an operating room on board the floating hospital of the Africa Mercy®, the course of Vanya’s life changed. Until then, the 11-year-old had spent her childhood challenged by windswept legs that curved sideways. The condition – often caused by a combination of genetic factors and malnutrition – kept her from walking effortlessly or wearing the skirts and leggings she longed to wear.

Bringing Life Into Their Days: A Spotlight on the Mercy Ships Palliative Care Team

Mercy Ships strives to make safe surgical care accessible for as many as possible on board its fleet of floating hospitals, providing more than 114,000 life-changing or lifesaving surgical procedures since 1978. However, the sad reality is that not every single patient Mercy Ships meets can benefit from surgery. This is where the palliative care team comes in, serving to bring hope and healing through compassionate care and companionship to those with terminal illnesses. 

Hospital ship arrives in Madagascar to deliver surgical care and training

TOAMASINA, MADAGASCAR – International charity Mercy Ships yesterday [February 1st] returned to Madagascar to bring transformative surgical education and free, life- changing surgeries. Freshly refitted hospital ship, the upgraded Africa Mercy® has arrived at the island nation to build on the charity’s longstanding collaboration and will provide specialized surgeries in various fields, including maxillofacial and ear nose and throat, general, pediatric specialized general, pediatric orthopedic, cataract surgery, and reconstructive plastics.

Bringing Hope and Healing: What’s on the Horizon in Madagascar

In 2024, Mercy Ships is excited to add the next chapter to our decades-long collaboration with Madagascar. During this coming field service, we plan to bring hope and healing anew by providing transformative surgical education as well as life-changing free surgeries to patients on board the Africa Mercy®. These operations will cover a range of specialties including maxillofacial and ENT, general, pediatric specialized general, pediatric orthopedic, and reconstructive plastics.

Empowering surgeons: the female surgeon on a mission to accelerate surgery in Madagascar

Professor Fanja is on a mission to uplift surgeons and enhance the healthcare system in her home nation of Madagascar.   Having benefited from the guidance of skilled teachers during her own training, Prof. Fanja, whose full name is Professor Fanjandrainy Rasoaherinomejanahary, specializes in surgery of the abdominal organs and entire digestive tract, is determined to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of surgeons. 

Madagascar’s Teaching Surgeon Passes on Her Skills, Her Dream

In the often male-dominated field of medicine, Professor Fanjandrainy Rasoaherinomejanahary is part of a legacy of female healers. “I am the daughter of a nurse,” said the Malagasy surgeon and professor of visceral surgery, who goes by Prof. Fanja. As a young girl, Prof. Fanja had a unique vantage point in the field of medicine, observing as her mother worked in a surgical ward. As she watched her mother help patients on their way to healing, a dream began to grow in Prof. Fanja’s heart.

Opportunity Made to Last: One Surgeon Mentee’s Story

In the spring of 2023, seven mentee surgeons boarded the Global Mercy™ while the hospital ship was docked in the west African nation of Senegal. Dr. Alida Ngandjio Sidi, a pediatric surgeon originally from Cameroon, came on board with confidence. She knew this was where she needed to be.

2024: Mercy Ships doubles down efforts to bring surgical care and training to sub-Saharan Africa as studies pinpoint critical gaps in surgical, obstetric, and anesthetic care

More volunteers than ever are needed to devote their time to international charity Mercy Ships as it prepares to start 2024 with two hospital ships in service as the momentum to deliver improved surgical care across Africa intensifies. The charity’s newest hospital ship, the Global Mercy®, continues to provide surgeries in Sierra Leone, where it has been since August 2023, while the Africa Mercy™ will start service in Madagascar.