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MSC supports new purpose-built Mercy Ships hospital ship

Mercy Ships Yeiddy Ferreira, Hand Therapist, at work with a patient onboard a Mercy Ship.jpg
A new hospital ship will offer surgery, care and education to patients and healthcare professionals in sub-Saharan Africa.

An agreement between MSC Group, MSC Foundation and Mercy Ships International lays the groundwork for a new purpose built hospital ship through an anchor donation from MSC Foundation.

The new ship will have a hospital over two decks with six operating rooms, a laboratory, and training facilities. The ship will accommodate around 600 crew, patients and guests onboard.

Mercy Ships said the expansion of its fleet will allow the charity to strengthen local surgical systems during its time in port, typically a 10-month field service. 

Training and advocacy capacity will be increased by the new ship’s facilities, aiding in the charity’s efforts to boost the capacities of local healthcare systems. Mercy Ships said it
has provided additional training to more than 54,300 local professionals.

“The investment of many around the world towards a fleet of hospital ships will be enhanced by the future of our new purpose-built vessel. Today, I am grateful to MSC for their support,” said Don Stephens, founder of Mercy Ships.

Capt. Gianluigi Aponte, founder of the MSC Group, said: “It has been extremely gratifying to work with Don and provide this crucial  support through his unique organisation Mercy Ships, our partnership has reaped extraordinary results already and now we are on the verge of expanding their fleet to increase this support. I truly look forward to seeing this new ship set sail to help more communities across Africa.”

MSC and Mercy Ships have been partners since 2011, with the MSC Group offering support through its teams and entities in Africa including its local shipping agency, terminals, carog handling, logistics, storage, and inland transportation services. The company said it had also offered extensive technical advice developing the new ship design with Mercy Ships.

Gert van de Weerdhof, CEO of Mercy Ships said: “This new hospital ship will bring state of-the-art equipment and facilities to support the nations we serve. This  new vessel and her future crew will enable us to meet surgical needs, while  supporting host nations as they develop healthcare systems with their next  generation of medical professionals.”

Diego Aponte, MSC Group President and a Member of the MSC Foundation Board,  said, “Mercy Ships brings tangible and concrete support to thousands of families across the  region, and with MSC Group’s major presence there we have a duty to give back to the local communities. This vessel is yet another milestone in our vision to support the African continent with achieving a truly prosperous and sustainable destiny.”