Mercy Ships, an international nonprofit organization that operates hospital ships and provides medical aid to the world’s forgotten poor, will be featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes this Sunday at approximately 7 p.m. EST. The segment, which was reported by award-winning journalist Scott Pelley, will highlight the mission of Mercy Ships to bring hope and healing to the developing world by using hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services.
Mercy Ships’ medical services include cleft lip and palate repair, cataract removal, orthopedic procedures, maxillofacial reconstruction and plastic surgery, obstetric fistula repair and dental care. The organization also trains local medical professionals in their area of expertise and completes community development projects that focus on water and sanitation, education, infrastructure development and agriculture.
In May 2012, Pelley and a team of 60 Minutes producers went aboard the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity ship and the Mercy Ships floating hospital. The ship includes six state-of-the-art operating rooms, an intensive care unit and bed space for up to 78 patients.
“We are shocked and distressed when we see the devastation and number of lives lost in a natural disaster. But there’s a tsunami of deaths in West Africa every day. People live in fear, hopelessness and desperation.”- Don Stephens President/Founder of Mercy Ships
In many developing countries, even basic medical care is a luxury. And in Africa, nearly 50 percent of the people have no access to a hospital or doctor.
Children, teens, adults and the elderly suffer and die every day from curable or treatable causes. Every year, 6 million vulnerable children die from preventable diseases such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. One child in eight will die before age 5.
The challenge is enormous, but don’t let the statistics numb you. Every number has a name, a face and a story. And they will break your heart.
For more than 30 years, Mercy Ships and its committed partners and volunteers have followed the model of Jesus to bring hope and healing to the world’s poor one life, one community and one nation at at time. Africa Mercy – provides first-rate medical professionals, state-of-the-art medical and surgical facilities and health-care training to communities in West Africa that lack those critical services.
Why is using a ship important? More than 75% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of a port city. Many of those cities are in developing countries where access to adequate health care is limited or nonexistent.