Training and capacity building
Lack of knowledge about basic health care leads to tens of thousands of deaths each day in the developing world. Mercy Ships is committed to breaking the cycle of disease through prevention and knowledge.
Health Care Training
Mercy Ships provides training and mentoring of local surgeons and other health professionals and facilitates the WHO Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) training program for local medical workers. Training in biomedical technical equipment maintenance and repair and hospital administration also increases access to local health care resources.
Community Health Education
Mercy Ships Community Health Education teams train students in basic health and hygiene, first aid and HIV/AIDS prevention. These students then go on to teach others in their own communities.
In West Africa, the average woman has eight to twelve births with only half of them surviving over the age of five, most of their children dying from lack of hygiene and preventable diseases. Mercy Ships introduces local women to basic health and hygiene principles, helping them to protect their families and combat the cycle of disease in their communities.
In many developing countries, women in rural areas spend their lives fetching water and working in the fields, with little or no education. Mercy Ships helps local women to realize their undeniably important role in society, mobilizing them to find solutions to improve the quality of life for their families and communities.
Mercy Ships Community Development staff work together with locals to give on-the-job training and certification in basic carpentry, masonry, agriculture and water and sanitation training. The fact that they are actively involved in Mercy Ships projects gives the local community a stronger sense of ownership. For the poor or disabled in developing nations, the opportunity to learn a trade or skill often comes second to survival. Mercy Ships invests in individuals through on-the-job training, classroom teaching and capacity building.
Literacy rates are directly linked to income level and quality of life. West Africa has the lowest rates of literacy in the world. The average literacy rate - or the percentage of the adult population in the region who can read and write - is just 40%.
Because many adults who cannot read and write are often unemployable, they are frequently unable to provide for even the most basic needs for their families. Unable to pay school fees or buy uniforms for their children, illiteracy is also often passed on to their children, who are denied access to education because of poverty.
Agricultural programmes help families and communities learn practical food-producing skills, thereby directly reducing malnutrition. Improved crops and income bring better health to the farmer, his family and his community.
Mercy Ships teams address agricultural topics such as crop and garden planning, seed sowing and saving, natural disease and pest controls, and water conservation and irrigation practices. Using local resources often burned or discarded, participants learn to make homemade fertilizers such as compost.
Mercy Ships statistics
Since 1978, Mercy Ships crew has:
- trained over 32,100 local professionals in their area of expertise (anesthesiology, midwifery, sterilization, orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery, leadership).
- taught over 164,000 local people in basic health care.