During the hospital ship Africa Mercy’s recent 10-month 2018-2019 field service in Guinea, West Africa over 10,000 individual patients benefited from free surgical and medical care.

A snapshot of Mercy in Action while the vessel was berthed in the Port of Conakry– Mercy Ships’ fourth visit to Guinea:

  • 509 general surgical projects for 493 patients including hernia repairs and removal of tumors.Four weeks were focused on specialized pediatric cases.
  • Volunteer surgeons performed 486 maxillofacial head and neck surgeries involving 396 patients. Eight highly specialized craniofacial surgeries were performed.
  • Also, as part of that program 69 cleft lip and/or palate repairs on infants and children. An infant feeding program prior to surgery helped many underweight and malnourished infants.
  • Some 102 life changing surgeries to pediatric patients, all below the age of 18, to remedy ‘knocked knees’ and bowed legs.
  • Over 1,050 adults and 33 children benefited from a total of 1,136 eye surgeries, primarily cataracts.
  • I never expected that my babies would be so beautiful,” said one ophthalmic patient, Adama, who, because of cataracts, was unable to see her children’s faces when they were born.
  • A total of 49 women suffering from obstetric fistulas and other gynecological  problems underwent surgery.
  • Bent limbs became straight as 111 patients had 148 specialized reconstructive plastic surgeries.
  • Over 41,000 dental procedures, mostly extractions, involving more than 7,900 patients.
  • Mercy Ships partnered with the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene in Guinea to strengthen the country’s surgical healthcare system through training local healthcare professionals.

Geoff Garfield