Like so many, our Mercy Ships volunteers have been significantly impacted by the global air transport shutdown. New volunteers are unable to leave home as they planned to, while many more have been asked to assist with the COVID -19 crisis at home. Some are now in isolation while others have already joined their colleagues on the frontlines in their hospitals and communities.
We know you are concerned about our crew members on board too, so we are very happy to tell you that our crew members are all safe and well. We can confirm there are no cases of COVID-19 on board the Africa Mercy.
Now the plan is to start early on our annual routine maintenance for the Africa Mercy. We know you join us in wanting to see the ship back in Africa as soon as possible when the global COVID-19 situation allows. Our mission to serve Africa’s poor has temporarily pivoted, but has not changed.
We are researching how to most effectively stand together with our partner nations, crew and staff in these challenging times. Our teams continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation globally, to determine how we can reach more people faster, better, more affordably and more sustainably. Our team is adapting and innovating our programs to respond most appropriately to the current situation.
These are some of the things happening at the moment:
- We are transitioning key Medical Capacity Building programs to tele-health and online remote delivery in order to train and mentor health care workers in Africa
- focusing on the care of critically ill patients, and the skills vital in caring for surgical patients and those with COVID -19 infections
- continuing to support the Gamal Dental School capacity building program with remote learning interfaces
- Significant financial support has been given by Mercy Ships for the COVID-19 Fund in Senegal, West Africa to be used specifically in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 cases.
- We repatriated 180 crewmembers, mostly medical professionals, back to their home countries to support local responses to COVID-19.
- A large donation of medical supplies has been made from our logistic center for use in local hospitals, fire departments and elderly homes.
- The review of how we can best support global communities is an ongoing priority.
For 40 years the incredible power-duo of our selfless volunteers and huge-hearted donors has brought hope and healing. For 30 of those years we have partnered with African host nations, dedicated to strengthening local health care systems; equipping, training and encouraging our local colleagues.
Today we are very proud of these dedicated health care professionals, frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19 in their respective countries.
As we face these challenging events, we are so grateful for your ongoing prayers and support and encouragement as we work together. Thank you for standing alongside us, doing your part in bringing hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor. We simply couldn’t do it without you!