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Photo Credit: Mercy Ships
Photo Credit: Mercy Ships
Mercy Ships
World News

Christian healthcare charity announces world's largest hospital ship

by Tola Mbakwe

Christian charity Mercy Ships has said it will soon have the world's largest purpose-built hospital ship.

The Global Mercy is 174-meter long, longer than one and a half football pitches, and weighs 37,000 tons. 

The ship has six operating rooms and houses over 600 volunteers from around the world including surgeons, anaesthetists, maritime crew, cooks, nurses, and teachers.

Rosa Whitaker, the president of Mercy Ships says: "The Global Mercy will be a true modern marvel- a fully custom-built hospital ship with customised instruments, state-of-the-art technology and highly-trained talent of a modern hospital," said. "It also represents a unique call-to-action for anyone called to serve, and it presents the opportunity for people to use their skill set to positively impact global healthcare."

The Global Mercy is scheduled to set sail to West Africa at the end of next year to provide healthcare to those most in need. 

Ropa Rusere from Mercy Ships UK told Premier while the need for additional healthcare in the developing world has always been apparent, the coronavirus pandemic has given more fortunate people a taste of what it's like to not always have immediate access to healthcare. 

"Here is the UK, we're more aware of healthcare issues because all of a sudden we can't use the GPs as we could before," she said. 

"The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in lots of countries healthcare systems and it's just made it worse. So where people didn't have access to healthcare before, mainly because of lack of money and they didn't have the right professionals in the countries, now it's because it's going to take the six months or something to find a solution [to the pandemic]."

Mercy Ships is currently able to provide surgical care to 2,400 people a year on its ship The Africa Mercy, but the Global Mercy will be able to expand that to 5,800. 

The charity said in addition to surgeries, the ship will be outfitted with state-of-the-art training spaces, including a simulation lab with virtual and augmented reality and other cutting-edge training tools, which allow trainers to simulate local conditions to teach best practices in low-resource environments.

The Global Mercy will also feature a 682-seat auditorium, student academy, gymnasium, pool, café, shop and library, all of which have been designed to accommodate up to 950 crew onboard when docked in port.

The ship is undergoing the final stages of construction.

Listen to Premier's interview with Ropa Rusere here: 

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