Mercy Ships Volunteers Perform 100,000th Free Surgical Procedure

HIGH SEAS – A 7-month-old patient receives cleft lip surgery onboard the world’s largest charity hospital ship.

A baby born with a debilitating cleft lip in Guinea has received free surgery from Mercy Ships volunteers, marking the charity’s 100,000th surgical procedure onboard its hospital ships.

Aissata (EYE-sat-ah), a 7-month-old child, travelled with her mother nearly 200 miles to receive the surgery on the hospital ship Africa Mercy, which has provided free surgeries to more than 2,100 people in Guinea since arriving in August.

For Mercy Ships, the milestone represents an important point in the nonprofit’s 40-year legacy. For Aissata, the free surgery changed the course of her life.

“I have always been very worried about her future and what would happen to her if I didn’t get her the surgery she needs,” said Aissata’s mother, Hassanatou (Ha–SANA–tu). “But now that she has come here to the ship, I am no longer worried.”Hassanatou holding Aissata after her surgery on the Africa Mercy.

Mercy Ships addresses this global surgery crisis within Africa by sending hospital ships staffed by volunteers to the places where surgeons are needed most. These surgeons also train local medical professionals who will stay in their home countries, effecting change long after Mercy Ships departs. Mercy Ships has touched more than 2.7 million lives since 1978.


About Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships is a global charity that was founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens. Since that time, Mercy Ships has performed services valued at more than $1 billion, impacting more than 2.48 million of the world’s most desperate people. More than 581 port visits have been completed in 57 nations.

Hospital ships are used to transform lives and serve nations one at a time. A ship is the most efficient platform to deliver a state-of-the-art-hospital to regions where clean water, electricity, medical facilities and skilled personnel is limited to nonexistent. And because more than 50ko% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of a port city, a hospital ship can reach many people who need care.


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