Following the successful completion of preparations to equip it for service the Global Mercy, the brand new hospital ship built by Mercy Ships, visited the Port of Rotterdam prior to setting sail for Africa, where it will provide healthcare assistance to those most in need.
Representatives from MSC Cargo, MSC Cruises and the MSC Foundation took part in a series of events, including a flag raising ceremony and a tour of the completed vessel in all its glory, seeing first-hand how this amazing vessel will help to save lives.
After a decade of planning, construction, and collaboration from donors and partners around the globe, the Global Mercy is a 174-meter hospital ship which will be used as a floating hospital and training center with the capacity for 950 people on board.
It is equipped with six operating theatres, hospital beds for 200 patients, a full laboratory and simulation training areas, enabling thousands of local doctors to be trained in the places the charity serves. Global Mercy will be the site of life-transforming surgery for hundreds of thousands of people in its lifespan and is due to enter service in Africa in January 2023, with a naming Ceremony scheduled to take place in Senegal in May 2022.
Matthieu Schaap, General Manager - Business Development for MSC Netherlands, said “Mercy Ships is an impressive organisation and, whether one is religious or not, I think the good thing anyone can take from any religion is the feeling of care for your neighbours, family and others - and that is what you can feel on board the Global Mercy and throughout the organisation as a whole.”
Daniela Picco, Executive Director of MSC Foundation spoke at the Flag Raising ceremony, saying: “We are honoured and proud to count ourselves among Mercy Ships’ changemakers; the organisation is a true community with a shared passion for its important mission. Don Stephens, Founder of Mercy Ships is fond of saying “if you want to go far, go together” and they can count on us to continue this journey together, bringing hope and healing to many thousands in need.”
Don Stephens, Founder of Mercy Ships added: “We are so grateful for all the assistance of MSC Cargo, MSC Cruises and MSC Foundation in turning this dream of a vessel into a reality and helping us continue our journey to transform lives and serve nations, one at a time.”
MSC has been proud to continue its support for Mercy Ships, through and with MSC Foundation, by providing logistics support for the Global Mercy, including containers carrying the necessary materials required to equip the Global Mercy for service, which it provided and organised the transport and logistics for. A plaque onboard the vessel has been dedicated to the MSC Foundation on Deck 11, reading: “Cargo Deck sponsored through the generosity of MSC Foundation”.
Mercy Ships is a global charity that uses hospital ships staffed by all-volunteer crews as the most efficient way to deliver projects of free, world-class healthcare services. In 2021 alone, Mercy Ships performed over 3,000 surgical procedures and over 16,000 dental procedures. The organisation also provided medical courses to over 1,300 participants and over 157,000 hours of mentoring to African healthcare professionals and worked in 11 countries across the continent. The Global Mercy will double the Mercy Ships fleet and more than double the organisations’ impact.
MSC has been supporting Mercy Ships since 2011 in bringing hope and healing to thousands of people without access to safe, modern healthcare and surgery. The MSC Group provides logistical support to Mercy Ships, which is financed by MSC Foundation, enabling it to concentrate more of its resources on healthcare. MSC Foundation also provides direct funding to on-the-ground projects to support the most vulnerable communities around the world.