Mercy Ships International has chosen the Port of East London to house one of its hospital ships, Africa Mercy, for three months while it conducts minor maintenance, a crew change and recruitment of medical practitioners to prepare for its next mission in Madagascar.
Africa Mercy is one of sixteen national offices of the international non-profit organisation that reaches out to communities across the world, providing free healthcare services to people of all ages in desperate need of assistance.
Its vessels are dedicated to offering free and safe surgery performed onboard by medical volunteers who perform life-altering surgeries.
Additional onboard volunteers offer spiritual upliftment and donations to people in need.
Transnet National Ports Authority manager for the Port of East London, Sphiwe Mthembu, welcomed the docking of the vessel.
“Mercy Ships International is one of the biggest humanitarian organisations in the world – the work they do is critical in supporting the health sector globally,” Mthembu said.
“It is an honour to be able to provide a temporary home for Africa Mercy.
“We do hope they visit our ports again and next time see our port-city community benefit from the outstanding work they do.”
Upon completion of its maintenance work at the port, Africa Mercy will sail to Madagascar, where it will serve local communities for ten months.
In preparation for her next voyage, the organisation is ramping up crew members to around 270 people, while giving existing volunteers rest time.