Mercy Ships has announced the construction of the world's largest charity hospital ship, the Global Mercy.
Over 18 million people die each year due to lack of surgical care, 93 per cent of them from Africa, but Covid-19 is posing additional challenges to the already strained healthcare systems of poorer nations.
The 37,000-tonne ship will set sail to Africa in late 2021, bringing free surgical and medical care to people in need.
The Global Mercy measures 174 metres long, and houses six operating rooms, as well as a 682-seat auditorium, student academy, gymnasium, pool, café, shop and library.
The state-of-the-art training spaces on board the ship will include a simulation lab with virtual and augmented reality, and a simulated post-op care space that simulates local conditions and limitations to teach best practices in low-resource environments.
Manning the ship will be 600 volunteers from all over the world, including surgeons, cooks, teachers and electricians.
It is estimated that the ship will help 150,000 people in need of surgical care over the course of its 50-year lifespan.
"The Global Mercy will be a true modern marvel— a fully custom-built hospital ship with customised instruments, state-of-the-art technology and highly-trained talent of a modern hospital," said Rosa Whitaker, President of Mercy Ships.
"It also represents a unique call-to-action for anyone called to serve, and it presents the opportunity for people to use their skillset to positively impact global healthcare."
Mercy Ships is seeking volunteers to serve on the Global Mercy. Find out more at www.mercyships.org.uk