Mercy Ships is a global Christian charity that follows the 2,000-year-old model of Jesus to bring hope and healing to those suffering from disability, disfigurement, and disease. We deploy hospital ships and partner with African nations to transform surgical systems and provide free surgery to those most in need. We believe every person is valuable.
In sub-Saharan Africa, up to 69% of people live on less than £2 a day. Healthcare in these countries either doesn’t exist or is unaffordable to the vast majority of the population.
Conditions requiring surgical treatment kill more people in low-income countries than HIV/Aids, TB and malaria combined. Globally, five billion people have no access to safe, affordable surgery when they need it.
As well as completing thousands of urgent operations onboard our floating hospitals, the Africa Mercy and the Global Mercy, Mercy Ships volunteers also work closely with host nations to improve the way healthcare is delivered across the country, by training and mentoring local medical staff, and renovating hospitals and clinics.
Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 countries, providing services valued at more than £1.3 billion. By improving healthcare delivery in every country it visits, Mercy Ships is working to eradicate the diseases of poverty and effectively do itself out of a job. Mercy Ships follows the model of Jesus by “bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor”, helping people of all faiths and none.
Among the countries Mercy Ships serves, which lie on the lower third of the World Health Organisation’s Human Development Index, access to safe, affordable and timely surgery is extremely limited. As a result, countless people suffer and die from “diseases of poverty” that can easily be cured.
In low-income and lower-middle-income countries, nine out of ten people have no access to basic surgical care.
Our charity hospital ships sail directly to these people to offer the medical care they need – for free.
The Mercy Ships crew of the Africa Mercy is led by a team of volunteers from up to 40 nations, all of whom give their time and expertise for free. Mercy Ships doesn’t just take doctors and nurses – we need all skills, we need your skills.
The countries we visit
Since 1978, medical missions by Mercy Ships have worked with compassion in more than 56 nations, providing services worth over £1.2 billion that have helped more than 2.8 million people. Our current focus is on sub-Saharan Africa.