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Sierra Leone




71,740 km²



56.8% (2018 est.)

UN Development Index

Ranking: 181 out of 191


8.4 million

Doctors, nurses and midwives per 10 000 inhabitants



Mende, Temne, Krio.

English (official language, in limited use with the literate minority)

Mission in Sierra Leone

Historic relationship and new hope in Sierra Leone with Mercy Ships

A nation of resilience

“What I love most about Sierra Leone is they’re vibrant, energetic, hospitable, but also resilient.” They have been through a lot of challenging times, and it is just amazing to see people rise up and continue to aspire to do more,” explains Dr Sandra Lako, Country Director for Mercy Ships in Sierra Leone. “I think that makes it amazing to be able to work together with them and to be able to make a difference together.”

Despite undergoing painful challenges in recent history, such as a decade-long civil war and being hard hit by the Ebola outbreak in 2014, its people have refused to let these obstacles become their legacy. Instead Sierra Leone is known for its tremendous positivity and strength. Set against a backdrop of mountains and white sand beaches, Sierra Leone’s striking natural beauty is also a standout feature.

Sierra Leone has 5 general surgeons to provide surgical care for the entire population of 8 million people.

Sierra Leone

Since 1992, Mercy Ships provided surgical care for 9,548 patients. This field service, the legacy will be strengthened by more than 2,350 safe, free surgeries on board as well as provide training for more than 200 healthcare professionals across the surgical ecosystem.

Mercy Ships is honored to return to Sierra Leone in the second half of 2023. This field service will mark the 6th time Mercy Ships has visited Sierra Leone – and the first visit for its newest hospital ship, the Global Mercy™, thanks to an invitation from the government of Sierra Leone. 

The hospital ship will serve as a platform for training our healthcare professionals to build capacity. Programmes will ensure that the positive impact of Mercy Ships will continue long after the ship leaves the shores of Sierra Leone. 

“For those of us on the ground in Sierra Leone, the challenges we face daily in providing healthcare services underscore the grave disparities present across the various corners of our planet,” explains Dr Kabba, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Services, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone.

“The most dramatic example of the challenges we face is the severe lack of qualified professionals equipped to handle our nation’s diverse and growing healthcare needs, particularly in relation to surgical care.”


Together we save lives

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