Mosquito nets aid Mercy Ships' lifesaving work in Togo

Mercy Ships has received a donation of 100 mosquito nets from travel and outdoor adventure specialists, Lifemarque Limited.

The mosquito nets will be used onboard the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity hospital ship, which arrived in Togo this month.

Whilst there, the volunteer crew will provide free life saving surgeries and medical care to thousands of people over the next seven months. Some of the nets will also be used by the Africa Mercy teams working on land-based projects.

Malaria is rife in Togo and is contracted by being bitten by an infected mosquito that is carrying the malaria parasites in its saliva.

Pete Gostling, Marketing Manager at Lifemarque Limited said: “Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Minimising the risk of being bitten is extremely important when travelling in high risk malaria regions."

The mosquito nets have been treated with a powerful repellent that kills mosquitoes on contact and lasts for up to two years.

“It is a great pleasure to be able to donate practical and useful equipment to Mercy Ships that will ensure the safety of the selfless volunteers and the patients they treat," Mr Gostling continued.

"When we first heard about the work that Mercy Ships does and about the hundreds of volunteers who provide thousands of free surgeries and medical care every year and in areas of the world that are dangerous we really wanted to help."

The Africa Mercy has been converted from a Danish rail ferry into a state-of-the-art hospital ship, with six operating theatres, X-ray facilities and CT scanner, a pharmacy and a laboratory. There is a 78 bed ward and a small intensive care unit, as well as cabins for the 450 volunteers.

In 2009 the Africa Mercy spent 10 months offering help and healing to the people of Benin. During that time volunteers on board the Africa Mercy performed 5,000 free surgeries, over 33,000 eye treatments and 10,000 dental procedures to people who had no other access to these types of healthcare.

Judy Polkinhorn, Executive Director of Mercy Ships UK, said, “We are extremely grateful for the kind donation of mosquito nets from Lifemarque Limited. Not only can we use these on the ship but they can also be used for land-based projects where the risk of being bitten is higher. Donations such as this are invaluable and we are eternally grateful for their support.

“The safety of the patients that we treat is very important. Our volunteers take great care to ensure that the patients visiting the ship are safe and that the risks of contracting diseases such as malaria are as low as possible.”

Christian charity Mercy Ships has treated more than 230,000 people in village medical clinics, performed more than 41,000 surgeries, 205,000 dental treatments and completed over 1,000 community development projects focusing on water and sanitation, education, infrastructure development and agriculture.