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    Mercy Ships launches surgical missions in Madagascar

    Over 120 community leaders, dignitaries, and guests convened aboard the Africa Mercy, a hospital ship, last week to mark the beginning of Mercy Ships' impactful surgical missions in Madagascar.
    Source: Supplied.
    Source: Supplied.

    After extensive preparations for the hospital’s launch, attendees including the mayor of Toamasina, Nantenaina Rakotonirina, interim governor of Atsinanana, Bemahefa Gervais and the representative of public health of Atsinanana, Razafiariosoa Celestine Vavy, were excited to go on board. An international delegation from Mercy Ships travelled to the dock to witness the landmark moment.

    Since arriving in the country in February, the Africa Mercy implemented an extensive strategy to ensure the broad reach of its services, covering diverse regions within Madagascar.

    With registrations spanning 12 locations across the country, this marks Mercy Ships’ fourth field service in Madagascar, following previous visits in 1996, 2015 and 2016.

    Over the course of previous visits, Mercy Ships collaborated with the government and ministry of health to provide more than 6,425 life-changing surgical procedures and over 52,395 dental procedures. In addition to these surgeries, Mercy Ships has a longstanding commitment to education, having trained 2,019 healthcare professionals in the past.

    Building crucial partnerships

    Vavy added: “The partnership with the government is crucial as it addresses gaps the government cannot fill, whether financial or temporal. Mercy Ships bridges these gaps, embodying a public-private partnership between the Malagasy government and Mercy Ships. It provides indispensable help, especially for those in dire need. This partnership is invaluable and highly complementary to the efforts of the Malagasy government.”

    Through an education-, training-, and advocacy strategy, the organisation, in collaboration with Madagascar’s ministry of health, aims to increase the number of surgical providers, deliver training across the surgical ecosystem, develop sustainable educational programmes, establish a network of healthcare providers, and advocate for the importance of surgery in healthcare globally.

    Toky Rafanomezantsoa, said: “I am delighted that the ship is here to serve the Malagasy population and provide high-quality surgical interventions free of charge. This ship is well-equipped, and the staff, who are volunteers from around the world, are highly trained.

    "We are privileged to receive the quality they can offer. Malagasy medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and medical students, will benefit from the training and experiences shared with the ship’s staff and the equipment it carries.”

    Vision for medical advancement

    In just two weeks from the gathering on board, patients will begin boarding the ship docked in Toamasina to receive life-changing surgeries.

    The Africa Mercy managing director, Nathan Jansen said: "We are excited to provide more than 1,000 surgeries and train more than 40 Malagasy medical professionals on board.

    "We will be working with in-country partnerships to train and equip medical professionals across the nation. We have had a joyous time revisiting some former patients since our arrival in February and seeing how surgery has transformed their lives.

    "We are also seeing professors that are still teaching the simulation courses that were initiated by Mercy Ships, and seeing the interns that are still benefiting from this.

    "Hospital director of the Africa Mercy, Merryl Mackenzie, has achieved, together with her team, an impressive feat of installing brand new medical equipment.

    "We cannot wait to see the impact this field service will have on transforming lives in Madagascar and increasing access to surgical care and education.”

    Source: African Press Organisation

    APO is the sole press release wire in Africa, and the global leader in media relations related to Africa. With headquarters in Dakar, Senegal, APO owns a media database of over 150,000 contacts and the main Africa-related news online community.

    Go to: www.bizcommunity.com/PressOffice.aspx?cn=apogroup
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