Help­ing just got eas­ier

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Mercy Ships is al­ter­ing the yearly sched­ule for its char­ity hos­pi­tal ship, Africa Mercy, so it is more con­ve­nient for Ki­wis to take part dur­ing their sum­mer hol­i­days.

Ali­son Briese­man, from Tawa, has worked 10 to 12-hour shifts in the Mercy Ships’ on­board op­er­at­ing the­atres since 2005, and is now the di­rec­tor of nurs­ing for the Africa Mercy.

Un­der her lead­er­ship, the in­ter­na­tional vol­un­teer sur­gi­cal teams have per­formed 505 spe­cialised surg­eries since the ship ar­rived in Sierra Leone in Fe­bru­ary.

‘‘Us­ing my skills to bring such mas­sive change to the poor­est and most des­per­ate, to help those who have no hope, is an amaz­ing priv­i­lege,’’ she said.

Mercy Ships has an­nounced a new field ser­vice sched­ule which will pro­vide op­por­tu­nity for more New Zealan­ders to vol­un­teer their pro­fes­sional skills to help Africa’s poor­est dur­ing our sum­mer, when the hos­pi­tal ship was pre­vi­ously dry docked.

Ev­ery year, short-term Kiwi vol­un­teers sign up for longert­erm ser­vice and help pro­vide the core of the op­er­a­tion.

The Africa Mercy spends 10 months in a dif­fer­ent West African coun­try ev­ery year, de­liv­er­ing health­care ser­vices nor­mally un­avail­able to the peo­ple.

The length of two foot­ball fields and seven storeys high, the ship pro­vides a trans­portable plat­form for the in­ter­na­tional vol­un­teer crew to pro­vide health care for 70 pa­tients at a time in gen­eral and in­ten­sive care wards, and the ship’s six op­er­at­ing the­atres.

The the­atres are sup­ported by an on­board pathol­ogy lab, X-ray and cat-scan, and a phar­macy – ev­ery­thing med­i­cally re­quired to make the float­ing hos­pi­tal self­suf­fi­cient in its pro­vi­sion of world-class ser­vices to those who have lit­tle or no ac­cess to the help they need.

In­for­ma­tion on vol­un­teer­ing is avail­able at mer­cy­

Com­mit­ted: Aboard Africa Mercy, Tawa’s Ali­son Briese­man plays a key role in bring­ing sur­gi­cal in­ter­ven­tion to Africa’s poor­est peo­ple.

Bea­con of hope: Africa Mercy is the world’s largest non-gov­ern­men­tal hos­pi­tal ship.

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