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Current Field Mission

Mercy Ships will serve in the Republic of Benin from August 2016 until June 2017. Here thousands of suffering children and adults will be seen by our amazing medical volunteers. Our big white hospital ship is their only hope. The situation is truly heart-wrenching, and we rely on your continued help.

Benin is one of the least developed countries as ranked by the United Nations Human Development Index, with a life expectancy of only 59 years. Mercy Ships last visited Benin in 2009.

During the Africa Mercy’s 10-month stay in the port of Cotonou, Republic of Benin, Mercy Ships plans to provide over 1,700 life-changing surgeries for adult and child patients onboard, to treat over 8,000 at a land-based dental clinic, and provide holistic healthcare training to Beninese health care professionals.

Mercy Ships Medical Capacity Building Programs foster transformational development within the healthcare structure of the host nation. These projects have been specifically developed to impart knowledge and skills, while modeling and encouraging compassion and a professional work ethic. These projects incorporate one-on-one mentoring opportunities, internationally recognized courses for groups, and structured observation in the Africa Mercy hospital.

We are honoured to again be able to come alongside the Republic of Benin and their government’s effort to strengthen their healthcare infrastructure through the training and capacity building Mercy Ships offers, free of charge.

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Field Mission Overview

Cotonou, Benin
August 2016 – June 2017

DIRECT MEDICAL SERVICES


Maxillofacial Surgical Project

Goal: Provide life-saving and life-changing surgeries to patients suffering from maxillofacial deformities.

Timeline: September 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Provide surgeries to patients to correct various maxillofacial conditions including cleft lip / palate. Provide counseling for patients and their families with emotional and mental scarring as a result of the maxillofacial conditions. Provide speech therapy services.


Reconstructive Plastic Surgical Project

Goal: Through life-changing surgeries, restore function, for patients suffering from severe burns and other plastic reconstructive needs.

Timeline: September 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Provide surgeries for patients to correct deformities from severe burns, congenital abnormalities, and specific soft tissue tumours. Provide counseling for patients and their families suffering from emotional and mental scarring as a result of their condition. Provide physical, occupational and hand therapy services.


Women’s Health Surgical Project

Goal: Provide life-changing surgeries and treatments to patients suffering from obstetric fistula, uterine prolapse, and other gynecological conditions.

Timeline: February – May 2017

Activities: Provide surgeries for patients to correct obstetric fistula conditions, uterine prolapse and other gynecological conditions. Provide counseling for patients and their families suffering from emotional and mental scarring as a result of their condition. Provide physical therapy services.


General Surgical Project

Goal: Improve quality of life by addressing pediatric congenital conditions, and adult environmentally- and occupationally-acquired conditions through general surgeries.

Timeline: August 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Provide surgeries for patients affected by general surgical conditions, such as hernias and thyroid goiters, and soft tissue tumors. Provide counseling for patients and their families with potential emotional and mental scarring as a result of their condition, as needed.


Orthopaedic Surgical Project

Goal: Improve the quality of life for patients suffering from orthopaedic deformities and neglected trauma through life-changing surgeries, with the aim to restore function.

Timeline: October 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Provide surgeries for patients to correct orthopaedic conditions. Provide counseling for patients and their families suffering from emotional and mental scarring as a result of their condition, as needed. Provide physical therapy services, as needed.


Dental Project

Goal: Reduce the incidence of dental disease by providing dental treatments such as restorations, extractions, cleaning, and basic dental instruction.

Timeline: September 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Provide procedures for patients affected by tooth decay, infections, small oral lesions, etc.  Provide clinical dental hygiene services to patients.  Provide dentures to patients requiring replacements.  Facilitate basic oral health instruction to elementary and secondary students and all patients served in the dental clinics.

 

CAPACITY BUILDING


Essential Surgical Skills Courses

Goal: Impartation of knowledge and skills in individuals to affect transformational development. Select participants have the skills and equipment to train others in the course material.

Timeline: September 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Teach surgeons in essential surgical skills: infection control practices, safety in the operating room, basic surgical and suturing techniques for open surgery, trauma and/or orthopaedics, as time and materials allow. Lectures and practical hands-on teaching methods are used.  Teach as trainers.  Mercy Ships project leadership follow-up with participants where possible, either in-person or over the phone, including:  Assess knowledge, skill, and confidence retention at 3-6 months.  Determine, through a structured interview, the factors that aid or inhibit application of course knowledge and skills to the clinical setting.  Determine factors that aid or inhibit the transferal of new knowledge and skills to others.


SAFE Obstetric Anaesthesia Courses

Goal: Impartation of knowledge and skills in individuals to affect transformational development.  Select participants have the skills, confidence, and equipment to train others in the course material.

Timeline: September 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Teach physician/nurse anesthetists and midwives/obstetricians throughout a three-day course on obstetric anesthesia, critical care of obstetric patients, and newborn resuscitation.  Teach as trainers.  Mercy Ships project leadership follow-up with participants where possible to:  Assess the factors that aid or inhibit application of course knowledge and skills to the clinical setting.  Assess factors that aid or inhibit the transferal of new knowledge and skills to others.


Primary Trauma Care Courses

Goal: Impartation of knowledge and skills in local individuals that will affect transformational development.  Select participants have the skills and equipment to train others in the course material.

Timeline: September 2016 – May 2017

Activities: Teach participants in Primary Trauma Care through lectures and practical skill stations.  Teach as Trainers.  Mercy Ships project leadership follow-up with participants where possible, either in-person or over the phone, including:  Determine, through a structured interview, the factors that aid or inhibit application of course knowledge and skills to the clinical setting.  Determine factors that aid or inhibit the transferal of new knowledge and skills to others.

Note: Once more project plans have been published, the information above will be updated.