The Global Mercy, the new ship from Mercy Ships, sails free of charge and without any problems through the Suez Canal and will dock in the Port of Antwerp on 12 September.
ANTWERP : n the run-up to the International Day of Charity (Sunday 5 September), Mercy Ships comes with good news. The Global Mercy , Mercy Ships’ newest hospital ship, is almost in Antwerp. The largest private hospital ship in the world departed from the yard in China at the end of July after successfully completing its mandatory sea trials. Meanwhile, the Global Mercy completed its passage through the Suez Canal and is currently in Malta. The last straight line to the port of Antwerp has been deployed, where the ship will be further furnished and finished from September 2021 to February 2022.
Unique international and national cooperation
The Senegalese and Egyptian governments exceptionally facilitated the passage of the ship through the Suez Canal, allowing the Global Mercy to pass free of charge. This unique gesture allows Mercy Ships to save many thousands of extra lives in Africa over time.
Bert van Dijk, President of Mercy Ships Belgium and Mercy Ships Global Association is extremely enthusiastic and grateful for the great collaboration and great support for this unique project said “Initiated and led by President Mack Sall of Senegal and his ambassador in Brussels, the President and the authorities of Egypt have agreed to pilot the Global Mercy through the Suez Canal free of charge and without any hassle. A wonderful example of a unique collaboration between two heads of state to support Mercy Ships and contribute to improving healthcare in Africa.”
President Macky Sall of Senegal says: “I have seen and experienced with my own eyes that Mercy Ships is a wonderful organization that brings hope and healing to many African countries. We will welcome Global Mercy with open arms in the spring of 2022 and give our full support as it embarks on its first mission in Africa. We are very grateful for the vital support from so many to actually help my country and my people.”
Port of Antwerp enabled the arrival of the Global Mercy to Antwerp by offering a free berth and support. Volunteers from home and abroad will furnish and finish the Global Mercy there into the largest private hospital ship in the world. This concerns, among other things, the furnishing, installation of medical equipment and IT systems, but also the supply of the ship for her first mission.
“This unique project is a temporary highlight in the collaboration between Port of Antwerp and Mercy Ships. As a Port Authority, we are not alone with our support, the social commitment in the port community is very high. Dozens of companies in our port already structurally support Mercy Ships and will also do so when setting up the Global Mercy. Mercy Ships and the wonderful work they do are close to the heart of the port of Antwerp”, says port alderman Annick De Ridder.
Doubling the impact in Africa
The Global Mercy will be the ‘partnership’ of the existing hospital ship, the Africa Mercy . Mercy Ships expects to more than double the impact of its work with the new ship, both with life-changing operations and with the education and training of local health care providers in the poorest countries in Africa. During its missions, the Global Mercy can accommodate as many as 950 people, including 641 crew members including surgeons and nurses, support staff and maritime volunteers from around the world. In addition to the hospital, the ship also has first-class training facilities with which Mercy Ships contributes to the sustainable development of local medical care in many countries.
Largest private hospital ship in the world
The Global Mercy is a unique ship in the passenger class: 174 meters long, 28.6 meters wide and a gross tonnage of 37,000. It has 6 operating theatres, 200 beds, a laboratory, general outpatient clinics and eye and dental clinics. The total surface area of the hospital ward is 7,000 m².
In the spring of 2022, Mercy Ships hopes to start a working period with the Global Mercy in Dakar (Senegal), the first of many new missions in the next 50 years.
About Mercy Ships
Mercy Ships makes medical and surgical care accessible to the poorest in the world. More than 1,000 professional volunteers participate for free every year and pay their own travel and accommodation costs. With the arrival of the Global Mercy , there will eventually be about 3,000.
Mercy Ships is still looking for motivated volunteers to help put the finishing touches on the layout of the Global Mercy in Antwerp. Registrations can be made on the website or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source : Port of Antwerp