What are Mercy Ships?

Mercy Ships is a shipping service providing essential medical assistance to people around the world. It is mainly run on charity in poorer and developing nation-states. The core focus of Mercy Ships however is centred on West Africa and the Mercy Ships’ current chief operating ship is the Africa Mercy.

Mercy Ships medical ship service was started in the year 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens. The shipping service has been an instrumental medical aid provider throughout the lesser developed part of the world in the over three decades of its existence.

mercy ships
Credits: abb.com

The ship’s mercy hospital has centres in 17 countries and in the year 2009, the founders of this marine medial charity were the recipients of the Variety Club International Humanitarian Award. The achievements and the features along with the objectives and vision of the Mercy Ship as a charity organisation can be explained and detailed as follows:

  • The most important feature about Mercy Ships is that it carries out its duties and functions by actively making the people involved. By enabling professionals and experts in the fields that the organisations cater to, Mercy Ships has been able to tap effectively on the aspect of productive human resource
  • Interested people can either opt for being volunteers in the mercy hospital programs or donate money for the charity. For the purpose of becoming a volunteer, one is required to fill an application form given in the Mercy Ships website where all the necessary details required are mentioned. As regards to the donation aspect, there are several options listed. The interested person can choose the aptest and preferred donation aspect to make his/her contribution
  • The area of focus of the medical ship is yet again an important aspect commendable about the organisation. According to statistics, around 50% of the African population does not have proper medical facilities. This is, in turn, proves that the mortality rate in the continent is quite high because of such lack of facilities. The mercy hospital by its venture in the continent hopes to stabilise and improve the lives of the people
  • As a charity organization, Mercy Ships looks forward to bring about love and happiness in the lives of those people who are disadvantaged. This policy of helping others by way of love and generosity is on the basis of the principles of Jesus Christ. Technically, the ship hospital follows the 2000-year example of Christ

The first ship that was deployed by the organisation was the Anastasis. This ship was relieved from active duty in the year 2007, following which the Africa Mercy replaced it. Some of the features and highlights of the currently operating vessel of the medical ship can be explained as follows:

  • The Africa Mercy has a crew capacity of 472 people. The ship was built in Denmark in 1980 and is registered in Malta in Africa. The ship was acquired to be run for the organisation in the year 1999
  • The length of the ship is 152 meters while the breadth is 23.7 metres. The draft of the  Ship is 6 meters
  • There are six OTs (Operating Theatres) and a 78-bed capacity, which is quite high when compared to the earlier Mercy Ships’ vessel

With the help of charities like the Mercy Ships, it has become possible for people across the world to help those of underdeveloped countries. Considering the level of success and positivity that the Mercy Ship garners, it can be hoped that in the days to come, many more such charitable organisations will come into operation.

Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared, or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight.

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