MSC Foundation, MSC Group, Mercy Ships Building a New Hospital Ship Together

A recent joint press release issued from Geneva, Switzerland, on April 22, 2024, heralds a significant collaboration between MSC Group, MSC Foundation, and Mercy Ships International. This partnership aims to construct a new hospital ship dedicated to providing free surgeries and training annually to numerous individuals in Africa.

The agreement, finalized on April 8, involves key figures such as Capt. Gianluigi Aponte, Chairman of MSC Group and MSC Foundation, Diego Aponte, President of MSC Group and Board Member of MSC Foundation, and Don Stephens, Founder of Mercy Ships. Their collective efforts mark a pivotal step towards addressing healthcare challenges in Africa.

Mercy Ships, since its inception in 1978, has delivered over 117,000 specialized surgical procedures, offering services ranging from maxillofacial reconstructions to orthopedic corrections for children. Additionally, the organization has played a vital role in bolstering local healthcare systems through educational initiatives, training, and advocacy programs.

The expansion of Mercy Ships’ fleet with a purpose-built hospital ship will enable greater collaboration with host nations in training and advocacy endeavors. Acknowledging the indispensable role of partners and volunteers, Don Stephens expressed gratitude for the support from MSC, emphasizing the collective vision to bring hope and healing to African nations.

Mercy Ships

Operational logistics, including the transportation of essential supplies, have been facilitated through the partnership between MSC and Mercy Ships since 2011. MSC’s logistical expertise and infrastructure support have significantly contributed to the success of Mercy Ships’ operations.

The new hospital ship, designed to accommodate approximately 600 crew members and guests, will feature state-of-the-art facilities, including six operating rooms and advanced training spaces. This development underscores Mercy Ships’ commitment to strengthening local surgical systems during its port visits.

Gert van de Weerdhof, CEO of Mercy Ships, underscored the significance of the new vessel in meeting surgical needs and supporting host nations in developing their healthcare systems.

Diego Aponte, echoing his commitment to Africa, emphasized the transformative impact of Mercy Ships’ initiatives and MSC Group’s duty to give back to local communities.

Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation, highlighted the profound impact of Mercy Ships’ services and training, underscoring the Foundation’s commitment to this transformative partnership.

In conclusion, the collaboration between MSC Group, MSC Foundation, and Mercy Ships represents a significant milestone in addressing healthcare disparities in Africa. Through the construction of a new hospital ship, the partners aim to continue their mission of providing critical medical services and training to underserved communities.

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