Big news: Mercy Ships will be featured
on CNN International!
Tune in to CNN International the weekend of January 31st to have a look at the work Mercy Ships is doing in Senegal!
Three of our volunteers will be featured on CNN's "African Voices Changemakers," which highlights extraordinary people who have paved the way for change on the African continent.
The programme was filmed onboard our hospital ship in Dakar, and it features Dr Gary Parker, the Africa Mercy’s chief medical officer; volunteer Denise Ngum, an electrician from Cameroon; and Dr Fifonsi Odry Agbessi, a reconstructive surgeon from Benin.
Our segment is scheduled to debut January 31st at 7:30 and 22:30, with additional airings all weekend. Find the schedule on our website.
SHIP TO SHORE REPORT:
Reconstructive surgery programme resumes
This week, our volunteer surgeons have begun a new series of reconstructive surgeries onboard the Africa Mercy. Most Mercy Ships patients who need this sort of treatment are suffering from the lasting effects of severe burns, which need to be treated promptly to ensure proper healing.
Without access to safe, affordable, timely treatment, burns can lead to disfigurement. The skin on two sides of a joint might fuse together, severely limiting mobility or even preventing the joint from moving altogether — which is what happened to Gamai’s arms until Mercy Ships volunteers healed her.
This type of surgery is highly specialised and simply isn't available in many parts of Africa. That’s where we turn to the story of Dr Agbessi — who'll be featured on the CNN segment this month.
Dr Agbessi became Benin's first reconstructive surgeon after training with Mercy Ships, enabling her to provide vital services and surgeries to people in her home country even after Mercy Ships departed.
Dr Agbessi had always dreamed of becoming a reconstructive surgeon, but advanced training wasn't available in Benin.
Fortunately, by training alongside the Mercy Ships surgery team, Dr Agbessi gained critical mentoring and experience in her field. She later left Benin to acquire her advanced certification and became the first doctor in her country who could perform the type of burn treatments needed for patients like Gamai.
Now, Dr Agbessi is able to provide critically needed medical services to people in her home country of Benin — even when Mercy Ships is far away.