SENEGAL – Senegal’s President Macky Sall has announced the promised return of the Africa Mercy Ship, second largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world, to continue surgical operations and training in Dakar after unanticipated COVID-19 outbreak interruptions.
Shipboard consultations, surgery, training and mentoring are provided free of charge to local patients and professionals through donations from partner organizations and individuals.
Africa Mercy is a floating medical treatment facility belonging to the humanitarian organization Mercy Ships which seeks to leave the host nation better equipped with the training, tools and infrastructure to care for their own.
The international charity provides humanitarian aid like free health care, community development projects, community health education, mental health programs, agriculture projects and palliative care for terminally ill patients.
Mercy ships carried out patient selection activities across 14 regions in Senegal between last October and January 2022 where 900 benefactors were selected for consultation with a surgeon with the hope to provide free surgery.
The selection of patients is now closed and the organization will prioritize patients already identified in 2019/20 by the Chief Medical Officers of each region.
Additionally, nearly 750 healthcare providers are expected to receive medical training in various specialties.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), disease threats now spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before in the world.
For instance, there have been 85,072 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,949 deaths and 81,142 recoveries reported in Senegal as of this week.
Senegalese Minister for Health and Social Action M. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr said it was crucial for citizens to enjoy a better state of health for their full development and their contribution to the development of the nation.
“The interventions of the Mercy Ships will provide better health services which complement state efforts and the quality of human resources involved in this cooperation will give back hope and healing to the people,” assured Minister Abdoulaye.
Moreover, the organization has partnered with the Ministry of Health to develop protocols that ensure undertaken activities are safe and aligned with those in place in the state.
It emphasized that the plans may require further modification in response to the global and local coronavirus situation and will be updated regularly.
Africa Mercy resumes operations at the right time when a third wave of the pandemic is sweeping through Senegal, therefore, it will strengthen Senegal’s capacity to provide for a more effective and efficient response to COVID-19 outbreaks.
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