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Global leaders attending UN General Assembly gather to celebrate Mercy Ships

Friday 27 September 2019:  At a reception on Wednesday hosted by Mercy Ships and the AfroChampions Initiative, African heads of state and prominent business leaders came together in support of the work Mercy Ships is doing to address the surgery crisis in Africa. Worldwide, 5 billion people do not have access to safe, affordable, timely surgery, and in sub-Saharan Africa 93 percent of the population cannot get the surgery it needs.1

The reception was scheduled alongside the United Nations General Assembly and was hosted by Mercy Ships and The AfroChampions Initiative to draw attention to this surgery crisis.

Left to right: Rosa Whitaker, Mercy Ships president; Don Stephens, Mercy Ships founder; Juliette Tuakli, international board member ; and Lea Milligan, Mercy Ships UK national director.

“Mercy Ships offers treatments, infrastructures and trainings of medical staff, and therefore creates lasting change in Africa,” said Edem Adzogenu, co-founder and chair of the Executive Committee, AfroChampions Initiative.

“Their work is fully aligned with the AfroChampions Initiative’s vision, and there was no hesitation from our side when they asked for our support on this sensitisational campaign. Response from the AfroChampions corporate network has been positive, with substantial commitments — we are proud to see that the African private sector starts to appreciate the issue and understands that we now need an Africa that is self-sustained in health. We look forward to building more partnerships between Mercy Ships and our champions in the future.”

“Mercy Ships is honoured to work with these African nations to support them in building self-sustaining health care systems, to change and save significantly more lives, and to have a lasting impact across the countries of Africa,” Mercy Ships founder Don Stephens said.

The global surgery crisis results in more annual deaths than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. To address this crisis in Africa, Mercy Ships sends hospital ships staffed by volunteer medical professionals to the places where surgeons are needed most. These surgeons also train local medical staff who will stay in their home countries, effecting change long after Mercy Ships departs. Mercy Ships has touched more than 2.7 million lives since the nonprofit was founded in 1978.

Learn more about the organisation, including donation and volunteer opportunities, at www.mercyships.org.au

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1 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60160-X/fulltext

About Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building and sustainable development aid to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1.3 billion, with more than 2.56 million direct beneficiaries. Each year, more than 1,200 volunteers from over 40 nations serve with Mercy Ships. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. Mercy Ships Australia, one of 16 international support offices, is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. For more information, visit www.mercyships.org.au

About the AfroChampions Initiative

The AfroChampions Initiative is a public-private partnership designed to galvanise African resources and institutions to drive further Africa’s economic integration; as a consequence, the Initiative supports the emergence and success of African corporate champions, which have a critical role in integrating African markets and accelerating the transformation of the continent. http://afrochampions.com/about/who-we-are/