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Volunteer with Mercy Ships

Posted: 3rd February 2016 08:20

For many around the world, healthcare is a luxury they cannot afford. Mercy Ships is dedicated to helping those in need, regardless of race, gender or religion, and has visited over 451 ports in developing nations around the world, helping to fill the gaps in health care systems that many of the world’s poorest fall through. Through the deployment of the world’s largest private hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, Mercy Ships works with host nations to help serve the dire and immediate needs of the population.

As well as providing curative surgical interventions that have brought lasting change to millions of lives they also provide training opportunities for medical professionals including surgeons, nurses, anaesthesia providers, administrators and community health workers. They have over 1,600 volunteers helping in locations around the world which includes over 900 volunteer crew from over 40 nations currently serving in Africa. These are not just medical and dental professionals, but also teachers, cooks, engineers and specialists in the many fields needed to keep Africa Mercy running smoothly.

Africa Mercy has 82 patient beds, 5 operating theatres and state of the art equipment from CT scanners to X-rays to Nikon Coolscopes to aid with accurate diagnosis. By operating from the hospital ship, Mercy Ships are able to reach 75% of the world’s population without having to build new, expensive hospitals wherever they go. This means that more resources can be spent helping those in need, rather than on construction costs. They also work with local healthcare providers to ensure that they local services can continue to provide help to the community after Africa Mercy has left port.

Maxillofacial Surgeries  

Through corrective and reconstructive maxillofacial surgeries, their surgeons relieve deformities caused by physical conditions such as tumours, cleft lip, cleft palate and noma. 


Birth defects, burns, illness and neglected trauma often cause deformities that need to be corrected through surgeries to help patients regain a normal, healthy life.

Obstetric fistula & Women’s Health  

Support and medical care for women who have suffered childbirth injuries is incredibly important to Mercy Ships. They provide extremely specialised surgery, continuing the recovery process through education and social activities.


Their ophthalmic surgeons perform free cataract operations restoring sight to the blind.  Additionally, doctors correct pterygium, strabismus and eyelid deformities and replace painful or disfiguring blind eyes with prostheses.


Mercy Ships trains local surgeons in Ponseti casting, the “universal standard” in non-invasive clubfoot correction and provides free surgical intervention for musculoskeletal conditions, neglected orthopaedic trauma and joint diseases.


They treat painful, visually displeasing, and potentially lethal dental conditions, which can dramatically restore the self-esteem of patients if not save their lives. They also believe in empowering individuals to avoid the onset of dental disease through education.

Palliative Care  

The impact on the families of terminally ill patients can be overwhelming. Through palliative care Africa Mercy provides emotional support for patients and family members to help them cope with the imminent pain and passing of a loved one.

Mental Health  

Mercy Ships works to address issues of mental illness, epilepsy and trauma by providing basic counselling skills to health providers and church leaders. Improving awareness of mental health problems is vitally important in developing countries.


01438 727800 ( UK Office)

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