She is only 12!

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When 12-year-old Kaltoumi first arrived on the Africa Mercy, she likely had three months, or less, to live. The massive facial tumour she’d carried for over five years threatened to starve or slowly suffocate her. An early death was inevitable for Kaltoumi if there was no immediate medical intervention, … Read More

Julienne finds freedom

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The first time 14-year-old Julienne was called a “witch,” she was too young to grasp what the word meant. But she wasn’t too young to feel the sting of her own relatives’ rejection and to know that her condition made her different … an outcast. Julienne was just … Read More

Love in any language

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These days, Pirongia-born nurse Melanie Allen begins each shift with a two-minute walk to work – down several flights of stairs and into the hospital deck of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Africa Mercy. In February Melanie joined the volunteer crew of the 16,000 tonne Mercy Ships … Read More

Aser Roger’s 2nd chance

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Turn right two times, pull yourself over the stone stairwell … avoid children and stray dogs under your feet. Feel along the cement walls until your fingers touch the frayed rope railing. Follow it to the end of the path, turn left. Finally … home. Fifty-nine-year-old Aser Roger … Read More

A reason to smile

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Adorned with beads and colourful fabrics, Fadimatou enjoyed dressing up and ‘acting pretty’ like other girls. But, any glimpse of her smile was quickly wiped away by memories of teasing and ridicule—a reminder of the lies she’d been told too many times, that she isn’t pretty and shouldn’t smile. … Read More

Rail ferry to hospital ship – building ships of mercy

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We usually understand a ship to be a means of transporting people or cargo, a luxury cruise liner or a military vessel. Rarely do we associate a ship with a hospital. In this article, the authors explore the creation and operation of a unique ship, the Africa mercy (formerly … Read More

Seven long years

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She had been excited for a while. Mairamou and her husband eagerly anticipated the birth of their first child. But after a long, painful labour, she lost the baby. The tragedy was intensified because the prolonged labour caused physical damage that left Mairamou with a condition known as … Read More

The tiny warrior

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The first sight of three-month-old Paul revealed a feather-light bundle cradled in his desperate mother’s arms. His skin was paper-thin and his body remarkably tiny. He weighed just over two kilograms – less than he had when he was first born. The tiny baby was born with a … Read More

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