In August of each year, Mercy Ships begins a new field service in an African nation. For the next 10 months the hospital ship is docked in a port city, and thousands of patients who have been screened for surgery arrive for their free, life-changing operations.
Twice the size of New Zealand but with a population of 23 million, this island off Africa’s east coast struggles with the effects of more than 90% living in extreme poverty (less than $2.25 per day). Four million Malagasy children are under 5 years old. The overwhelmed health care system is typified by the figure of 5,660 nurses working the whole nation.
The Africa Mercy, docked in the port of Toamasina, is serving the people of Madagascar for two consecutive field services. MADA1 concludes in early July 2015, and after a dry-dock period (a ship’s annual Warrent Of Fitness) in South Africa, MADA2 will operate from mid-August 2015 – June 2016 in the same port as MADA1.
Read the full Field Service Overview here (link)