WHO and Mercy Ships sign collaborative agreement to strengthen surgical care in Africa

Efforts to improve surgery and anesthesia services in Africa is gaining momentum following the signing of a collaborative agreement between the World Health Organization in the African Region and Mercy Ships. The agreement aims to increase access to surgical care, and build capacity of health workers to strengthen surgical care delivery systems.

The agreement was signed in Dakar, Senegal by WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti and Dr Peter Linz, International Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Ships on the sidelines of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.

“This agreement epitomises what the Transformation Agenda in the African Region is all about – joining hands with new partners, working together towards improved, equitable access to healthcare services - to transform people’s lives, bringing hope and healing on the African continent. I hope our partnership will do what you do so well: provide vitally needed services for those who need it desperately, as well as building up capacity in countries”, said Dr Moeti.

During their bilateral discussion, both parties highlighted the gaps in safe, affordable and timely access to essential surgical care and underscored the need to ultimately work to ensure that no one is left behind.

In his remarks, Dr Linz said: “The solution to this daunting and complex problem will require hard work and collaboration from all stakeholders. We are hopeful that our formal collaboration with WHO will be one of those pillars in strengthening access to surgical care across Africa”.

The agreement covers a range of activities including strengthening health systems and building the capacity of health workers, providing technical assistance to the integration of surgical, obstetric and anesthesia services in National Health Sector Strategies and plan. It also includes contributing to health infrastructure development and supplies in partner hospitals and clinics aligned with Mercy Ships programmes and in collaboration with country priorities as well as documenting and disseminating surgical best practices for improving the quality of care.

Dr Linz was accompanied by Mercy Ship’s Ambassador for Africa - Dr Pierre M’pele.

Mercy Ships is a global organization with the mission tO increase healthcare delivery in developing nations. Through the deployment of our hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. Mercy Ships works with host nations to fill the gaps in healthcare systems while serving the immediate medical needs of their populations.

Along with a host of surgical projects, Mercy Ships provides educational programming for surgeons and other medical professionals.

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