The Africa Mercy returns to Dakar

The Africa Mercy returns to Dakar

Humanitarian organization Mercy Ships to resume surgeries in Senegal after COVID-19 interruption

Dakar (Senegal) / Lausanne (Switzerland), 4 February 2022 - The President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency Mr Macky SALL is pleased to announce that the Africa Mercy has returned as promised to continue the surgical operations and training that were interrupted in March 2020 by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship's presence is expected to last until November 2022.

The Minister of Health and Social Action presided over the arrival ceremony and welcomed the return of the hospital ship to contribute to the State's efforts to strengthen the provision of surgical services.

“Human beings are at the heart of development, and it is imperative that they enjoy a better state of health for their full development and for their contribution to the development of our country. Therefore, the interventions of the Mercy Ships are an opportunity to achieve this goal, thus complementing the many efforts made by the State. To this end, I renew my confidence in all the members of the ship's crew. I am convinced that the quality of human resources involved in this cooperation will enable us to give back hope," stated M. Abdoulaye Diouf SARR, Minister of Health and Social Action," stated M. Abdoulaye Diouf SARR, Minister of Health and Social Action.

Between October 2021 and January 2022, the Mercy Ships patient selection team visited all 14 regions of the country. With the participation of the Chief Medical Officers of these regions, more than 900 patients have been selected for consultation with a surgeon with the hope to provide free surgery. Mercy Ships wishes to honor its promises to the people of Senegal and priority has been given to patients already identified in 2019/20 by the Chief Medical Officers of each region. The selection of patients is now closed. At the same time, nearly 750 health care providers will receive medical training in various specialties.

Mercy Ships has worked with the Ministry of Health and Social Action to develop protocols that ensure all activities are undertaken as safely as possible. These protocols are aligned with those in place in Senegal and Mercy Ships emphasizes that the plans may require further modification in response to the global and local coronavirus situation and will be updated regularly.

"Although Mercy Ships has never really left Senegal, it is an honour and a blessing to return in 2022. This return would not be possible without the partnership of the Senegalese government, which has continued to walk closely with us through a difficult season. On behalf of Mercy Ships, I would like to extend a special thank you to President Macky SALL for his friendship and support, which has enabled us to once again bring hope and healing to Senegal," said Gert van der Weerdhof, CEO of Mercy Ships.

Thanks to donations from partner organisations and individuals, shipboard consultations, surgery, training and mentoring are provided free of charge to local patients and professionals.

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About Mercy Ships Switzerland

Mercy Ships, hospital ships to provide surgical care

5 billion people worldwide do not have adequate access to surgical interventions.

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building, and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world. Every year, Mercy Ships provides more than 2'000 free surgical interventions and 8'000 dental treatments to those without access in developing countries. Mercy Ships also works with host nations to help fill the gaps in healthcare systems through training opportunities and infrastructure projects.

Founded in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 developing countries, providing services valued at more than CHF1.7 billion and provided over 100'000 surgical procedures.

Our ships are crewed by volunteers from over 50 nations, with an average of over 2'000 volunteers each year. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills.

With 16 national offices and an Africa Bureau, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations. For more information click on

Mercy Ships Switzerland
Chemin de la Fauvette 98
1012 Lausanne