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A new hospital ship to bring free surgery and training to Africa

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A new hospital ship to bring free surgery and training to Africa

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A new hospital ship that will offer free surgery and annual training to thousands of people in Africa.

The MSC Group, MSC Foundation and the charity Mercy Ships International have concluded an agreement for the construction: it will have living spaces to accommodate around 600 crew members and guests on board. Its hospital will span two decks and 7,000 square meters, with six operating rooms, a fully equipped laboratory and state-of-the-art training spaces such as a simulation laboratory. This will allow Mercy Ships to strengthen local healthcare systems during the period of stay in port, usually lasting 10 months.

The protagonists

Commander Gianluigi Aponte, Chairman and founder of the MSC Group and MSC Foundation, Diego Aponte, president of the MSC Group and member of the board of directors of the MSC Foundation, and the founder of Mercy Ships Don Stephens have finalized an agreement to launch this new project with a large initial donation from the MSC Foundation, reflecting its commitment to supporting access to critical healthcare for future generations.

«I spent part of my childhood and early years sailing in East Africa, a region that is very dear to me – said Gianluigi Aponte – I saw firsthand the challenges faced by many local communities and this shaped my belief that improving the availability of healthcare would have a concrete and real impact on the reference community. It has been extremely rewarding to work with Don Stephens and contribute to his Mercy Ships organization; our partnership has already produced extraordinary results.”

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The mission

Since its founding in 1978, Mercy Ships has provided more than 117,000 specialized surgeries. These include maxillofacial reconstructions, contracture operations for severe burns, corrections for orthopedic problems in children, cleft lip and palate repairs, ophthalmological and dental services. Mercy Ships, a non-governmental organization, is also committed to increasing the capacity of local health systems through sustainably designed surgical education, training and advocacy programs. Mercy Ships has provided additional training to more than 54,300 local professionals in their fields of expertise.

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