There are things I take for granted. I easily purchase a bottle of water when I'm thirsty, turn the A/C on when I'm hot and video conference my parents (who are in Korea) just to say hello! I normally don't think twice about my actions because it is so common place! The same is true for when I decide to visit the doctor's office. If I don't feel well, I simply call my doctor and schedule an appointment!
Things aren't this 'simple' in Sierra Leone. Ranked 180 out of 182 on the 2009 Human Development Index, for most people, seeing a qualified doctor is beyond their wildest dreams.
Since the end of February, however, things have been different! With the Africa Mercy currently docked in Freetown for its 10-month field service, its fifth hospital ship visit to the Sierra Leone in 18 years, thousands of people have been able to receive the medical attention they needed! Here is a list of some of the things the Africa Mercy crew have done:
- 505 specialized surgeries
- 8,758 dental procedures for 2,675 people and basic oral health education for 2,405
- 1,979 eye evaluations and treatments and 889 refraction/eye exams
- surgical mentoring for 2 clinicians
- 45 health care professionals, 16 mental health staff and 22 church leaders have received training in mental health evaluation, treatment or counseling
- 15 trainers of trainers from 4 national organizations are receiving training in agriculture production and nutrition
- A midwife conference hosted 28 participants to exchange ideas and receive training
- 225 church and community leaders from the Bo area participated in a development conference that explores ideas for community development
It's no surprise that Don Stephens, President/Founder of Mercy Ships® and speaker on the Mercy Minute was awarded Sierra Leone's highest humanitarian award on May 28, 2011. Since their first visit to the impoverished nation in 1992, the ministry has positively transformed hundreds of thousands of peoples lives. Don Stephens humbly accepted this award saying, "I am honored to receive this meaningful award. Thank you for recognizing the work of Mercy Ships®. Each humanitarian act is a reflection of hundreds of people working together toward a common goal."
This award also goes to you. There is no doubt that because of your partnership, lives have been impacted. The Mercy Minute® is all about changing the lives of people by encouraging us all to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you for continuing to be a part of this ministry!
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