Its 'Together, we care' message can be viewed here.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the charity had to suspend its surgical programs in Senegal after consultation with the president and ministry of health there.
Although Africa Mercy is a medical ship, it is a surgical specialist unit and not suited to care for patients with highly contagious respiratory diseases. Also, with the global air transport shutdown, volunteer professionals were unable to get to the vessel. Additionally, many of Mercy Ships' medical volunteers were asked to assist with the COVID -19 crisis in their home countries.
Actions to help during this time
Meanwhile, the charity has come up with actions to help its partner nations, crew and staff.
These include work to transition key medical capacity-building programs to an online/remote delivery methodology in order to continue to train medical professionals in Africa. These will specifically focus on content surrounding the care of critically ill patients, as these skills are integral to caring for both surgical patients and those with COVID -19.
Today, healthcare professionals trained in the past are front-line workers in the battle against COVID-19 in their countries.
Mercy Ships also will continue its support for the Gamal Dental School in Guinea as part of its capacity-building program by temporarily using remote online tools.
In addition, the charity is donating $150,000to the COVID-19 fund in Senegal to be used in the prevention and cure of COVID-19 cases.
And Mercy ships is repatriating 180 crew, mostly medical professionals, back to their home countries.
Donating medical supplies
Further, the charity is donating medical supplies, including critically needed N95 masks, from its logistic center in the US for use in local hospitals, fire departments, senior homes and other venues, while also evaluating the donation of medical and other supplies from its logistic center in the Netherlands.
As well, Mercy Ships is reviewing how best to support global communities.
Aim to return to Senegal
During this period, the annual routine maintenance for Africa Mercy is being expedited, with the aim to be back in Africa as soon as possible. Once the global COVID-19 situation allows, Mercy Ships plans to continue its mission, with the hope to return to Senegal.