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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Two new Steam Kettles installed on the Africa Mercy

It is difficult to explain Rob's job on the Africa Mercy. The crew usually never see all the parts and equipment that Rob orders for the ship. This is due to the fact that most of it goes into the engine room or somewhere around the ship, so that the ship can continue to function properly. When the Procurement/Logistics team works seamlessly (which is how they prefer) the crew may not even be aware of anything being different. Sometimes it is not cost effective to replace parts and our team at the International Operations Center and at the office in the Netherlands work hard to support the ship in every thing they do! Some of the newest items received onboard have a definite impact on the crew morale...cause it has to do with FOOD!

Thank you to all the Procurement/Logistics Team and the company who provided a great discount on these wonderful additions to the Galley - New Steam Kettles!

Here is an article written by our Communications Team recently:

Every day onboard the Africa Mercy, a staff of twenty daily prepares nine hundred meals for crew and patients. Previously, the galley had only one operational steam kettle, which was difficult to use.

“We were working with only one operational steam kettle, which was old and often stopped working,” said galley manager, Jesse Mitchell.

Two new steam kettles, sold to Mercy Ships at a greatly discounted price, were recently installed in the Africa Mercy galley. The new steam kettles will allow the staff to prepare meals more efficiently.

“We use the steam kettles for many different things – including stews, pastas, and soups. They are really multi-purposeful. We are cooking for so many people on the ship, and we don’t have the space on the stove for pots. Instead, we can use the steam kettles. They are fast and make cooking much more convenient,” said Mitchell.

Currently in use, the steam kettles are making it easier for the galley staff to perform their jobs. “We really needed the steam kettles. Everyone is happy to have them,” said Mitchell.

Friday, October 09, 2009

New Video - October Alumni Report

We hope you'll enjoy this video - Click here to view it. We are not able to watch videos from the ship, so please let me know if the link is not working properly. Also, let me know how you like the content! Email me at! Thanks!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Today is World Sight Day!

Mercy Ships Surgeon Addresses Blindness Through Sutureless Technique

Patients onboard Mercy Ship, Africa Mercy “Celebrate Sight” and World Sight Day

Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, October 8, 2009Four-year-old Celine was born with congenital cataracts in both eyes. Her father, a tailor, wanted the best for her. However, he could not afford the $180 (US) for surgery for each eye, plus the money required for hospital supplies in his country. Unable to begin school because she could not see, Celine faced an uncertain future.

A free five-minute cataract operation onboard the Mercy Ship has restored hope for Celine and more than 3,000 others. They are receiving cataract surgery onboard the Mercy Ship during the hospital ship’s 10-month stay in the port of Cotonou from February through December of this year.

Not only do approximately 150 patients each week participate in a “Celebrate Sight” event, but many more Africans are set to benefit from a new training program onboard the floating hospital. African ophthalmologists receive training in the specialized procedure to remove the very dense cataracts that are common in Africa.

According to Vision 2020, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, and 80% of blindness is treatable, curable or preventable.* Simple and effective strategies could address this inequity, claims Dr. Glenn Strauss. He gave up his eye practice in the US to serve fulltime with Mercy Ships as Senior VP of Health Care Initiatives with the charity.

Since 2004, Dr. Strauss has fine-tuned a procedure of cataract removal called MSICS (Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery). The technique, which has been developed in Nepal, India, and onboard the Mercy Ship, requires no sutures. It is also cost-effective and efficient, and it allows for a high-volume turnover of patients. Strauss says he can serve approximately 40 patients per day.

South African ophthalmologist Dr. Gcobane Tuswa has recently returned to Sabona Eye Hospital in Queenstown, East Cape to implement the new techniques learned from Dr. Strauss onboard the Africa Mercy. He states, “The knowledge he [Dr. Strauss] has to share is invaluable and will increase capacity to address blindness.”

Mercy Ships will also continue to run remote eye clinics throughout the year in Benin. Volunteer professionals will see more than 200 patients a day, thus expanding their service throughout local communities.

Watch a recent Mercy Ships “Celebration of Sight,” held for patients who have completed their final checkups in Cotonou, Benin: Click Here

Celine’s story can be seen by a Click Here.