WorldCF Team Treats Patients Aboard the Africa Mercy
WorldCF medical director Dr. David Chong, who practices in Melbourne, Australia, and his friend and colleague, neurosurgeon Dr. Shailendra Magdum, who works in the Oxford University Hospitals system in England, performed the some of the first intracranial surgeries attempted aboard the hospital ship Africa Mercy in November while the ship was docked in Douala, Cameroon on the eastern coast of Africa.
The two spent a remarkably successful sojourn on the ship and will be sharing the stories of their patients in the next issue of Transforming Lives.
Mercy Ships is a highly respected, Texas-based charity that has been serving patients in Africa since 1978. Many people in Africa have little or no access to healthcare. There are only 2.5 physicians per 10,000 people in Africa, compared to 25 physicians per 10,000 in the U.S. Africa Mercy brings volunteer medical teams and sterile operating rooms directly to people who would otherwise go without care. It's the world's largest civilian hospital ship providing state-of-the-art care to those in desperate need.
The incidence of complex congenital craniofacial disorders is far higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in the developed world as well, and it is an enormous region where we have served needy children for many years. Over the years, many of our African children have been operated on in the U.S.-like our dear Ugandan patient Petero-and others have received care in hospitals around the world. Many have traveled to South Africa, as well, where WorldCF teams have assisted dedicated local surgeons Dr. Frank Graewe and Dr. Alexander Zuhlke. Patients like Grace from Zambia, and Akikere and Somto from Nigeria recently received surgical care in South Africa and are at home again and thriving.
New patients Gabisile from Zimbabwe and Akinfolarin from Nigeria are currently in desperate need and will travel to South Africa soon as well. The cost of their travel, lodging, surgical care, and recovery is staggeringly high-yet this is the work to which we are committed, and which we cannot do without your very generous help.
One day, most surgeries for our African patients might take place on Africa Mercy or another Mercy Ships floating hospital, but even if that occurs, the total costs for each family in need will continue to be prohibitive without WorldCF help.
Please open your hearts and give as generously as you can-to help these wonderful African children and others like them around the globe as well!