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Decrease avoidable suffering

Life-transforming surgeries

Transforming individuals' lives through free surgical care: Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to vulnerable people.

By using hospital ships, Mercy Ships brings access to free surgical services within the financial and geographic reach of people in low-income countries, for people who have no other chance to receive essential surgical treatment. The long-term impact for individuals is immeasurable; their return to a healthy and productive quality of life. 

Patients receive life-transforming reconstructive surgery on the Global Mercy and Africa Mercy for a fixed range of life-impacting conditions. Often previously ridiculed, the self-esteem of patients is gently nurtured by volunteer professionals during their recovery on board.

Maurinho's transformation

Treatable conditions become life-impacting or life-threatening, in low-income nations with minimal access to health care services. After reconstructive surgery on board, our patients AND their families' lives are filled with hope for a different future.

Many patients, even babies, arrive at the Mercy Ship carrying a life-sentence because of a treatable condition, like a benign facial tumour. Eventually the sufferer will likely be outcast because of superstition surrounding their appearance or may die from slow suffocation and starvation.

Common use of open fires for cooking in low-income countries sees toddlers and babies frequently suffering third degree burns. Without treatment, burns contractures cause permanent disability.

Children born with club feet, cleft lip and palate in the developing world have little chance of having corrective surgery. Those who survive are often rejected by their communities from their earliest memories.

How we build capacity

Maxillofacial

Through corrective and reconstructive maxillofacial surgeries, our surgeons relieve deformities caused by conditions such as enormous benign tumours and cleft lip/cleft palate.

Plastic reconstructive

Accidents, birth defects and illness cause deformities we correct through surgeries, including releasing burn scar contractures, to restore lost movement.

Orthopaedic

Major reconstructive surgery is provided for children suffering from life-altering musculoskeletal conditions, neglected orthopaedic trauma and joint diseases. Mercy Ships trains local surgeons in Ponseti

Women’s health

Reconstructive surgery, medical care and support is provided for girls and women who have suffered childbirth injuries. The recovery process includes well-being checks, education and

General surgeries

Our surgeons reduce the effects of neglected trauma, disease and congenital conditions by providing general surgeries for conditions such as hernias and goiters.

Eye care

Our ophthalmic surgeons perform free cataract operations, restoring sight to the blind. Additionally, doctors correct pterygium, strabismus and eyelid deformities and replace painful or disfiguring

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