Monday, May 31, 2010

What does Mercy Ships do?

The simple concept is that Mercy Ships provides free medical care to the forgotten poor of Western Africa. But we can’t possibly help everyone. There are specific programs onboard that serve specific needs, so here are a few more details on the services Mercy Ships offers:

Orthopedic Care: Helping straighten crooked legs, arms and other deformities

Tumor Removal: Most tumors seen in Africa are not removed early, and therefore can grow to massive proportions before patients have them removed. We call them Max Fax patients here on the ship.

Eye Care: Blindness, cataracts---Dr. Glenn Strauss from Tyler does an amazing job with the eye team here---patients are in and out in no time!

Dental Care: We have a fabulous off-sight clinic where they screen and perform extractions and other procedures.

Plastic Surgery: Skin grafts and other surgical repairs needed for burn victims or other patients who have been involved in accidents.

VVF, or childbirth injuries: The VVF ladies are here now, and I will go in more depth on this in a later post. The VVF women will truly melt your heart.

Cleft lip and palate: These children require a quick and easy surgery to make them look normal again.

There are many Off-Ship programs where we send teams into the towns and villages to educate the people on various initiatives. Clinics are held and programs are set up to spread knowledge among the people so that when the Africa Mercy leaves Togo, the good deeds will continue on. Things like Medical training and mentoring, Community Health Education, the Food for Life program (agriculture) and Clean water and sanitation programs.

Here are a few pictures taken by the wonderful PR team photographers to show Mercy Ships in action!

Kids at the hospitality center who are healing from having Ortho surgery---getting some straight legs!!

This is Aissa, quite the celebrity patient around the ship. She had many surgeries to get her to this point, but she has a brand new face :)

This is Abel. Though his legs were crooked as can be, he was the goalie of his soccer team! Now his legs are straight as an arrow, and he can't wait to ride a bike for the first time.

Lawson makes an amazing transformation when the tumor in his mouth is removed.

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