M/V Africa Mercy
1999- in service
Acquired in 1999 through a donation from the Balcraig Foundation, the former Danish rail ferry ‘Droning Ingrid’ was re-named the Africa Mercy by Dame Norma Major in April 2000. The CHF70 million refit was funded by donations from the Oak Foundation, and continuing support from the Balcraig Foundation and other trusts, corporate gifts-in-kind, and individual contributors. The conversion was completed at A & P Shipyard, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in March 2007 and was the largest conversion project of its kind in the UK. A comparable new vessel would cost more than double this price. With six operating theatres and a 78-bed ward, the Africa Mercy will ultimately double the annual medical capacity of her predecessors.
The hospital covers most of the original rail deck – approximately 1,200 square meters. It is divided into quadrants containing supply/services, six operating theatres, recovery/intensive care and low-dependency wards with a total of 78 patient beds. Projected annual surgical capacity is approximately 7,000 operations onboard including cataract removal/lens implants, tumour removal, cleft lip and palate reconstruction, orthopaedics and obstetric fistula repair. The hospital contains a CT scanner as well as X-ray, laboratory services and a Nikon Coolscope, which allows remote diagnosis almost instantaneously. Whenever required, diagnoses are transmitted via an onboard satellite communication system to doctors in developed countries.
In addition to the operations performed onboard, ship-based teams work in local villages providing a wide array of services to increase health and well-being which include dental clinics, medical clinics, community health education, HIV/AIDS intervention, water and sanitation projects including well drilling, construction, agriculture and micro-enterprise projects.
|Built||1980, Elsinore, Denmark|
|Main Engines||4 B&W (3120 kW each)|
|Surveyed By||Bureau Veritas|
Itinerary (Last updated in January 2013)
|Conakry, Guinea||22 August 2012||2 June 2013|
|At sea||2 June 2013||7 June 2013|
|Las Palmas, Canary Islands||7 June 2013||20 July 2013|
|At sea||20 July 2013||20 July 2013|
|Santa Cruz, Canary Islands||20 July 2013||27 July 2013|
|At sea||27 July 2013||9 August 2013|
|Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo||9 August 2013||June 2014|
IMPORTANT NOTE: The above itinerary, as always, is TENTATIVE. Changes may occur. In addition, there are sometimes blackout dates when no new crew may arrive. It is therefore imperative to NOT make plans to arrive or depart the ship without first confirming directly with Mercy Ships.