Operated by Mercy Ships, the Africa Mercy® sailed in February from Senegal and has chosen Dormac, a leading marine engineering company that provides ship repair, maintenance, and conversion services for over 50 years as their strategic partner for its seven-month repair and maintenance program.
As one of the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ships, alongside sister ship Global Mercy™, this unique hospital ship has brought hope and healing to some of the world’s poorest communities in Africa since 2007. The Africa Mercy will remain in South Africa through the rest of this year and intends to call in at East London before moving into active service again next year.
This seven-month program will see the Africa Mercy undergo a range of repairs and upgrades. Dormac has executed similar support to Mercy Ships before, and the vessel being a hospital ship receives preference in how she is managed by both Dormac Marine and Engineering and Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA), including priority docking and berthing. The Africa Mercy will receive the same level of care and support as always, with a 3-part approach to the repair.
“We are pleased to choose Dormac and the Durban community during this important maintenance work on the Africa Mercy,” stated Justin Ray, VP Marine Operations. “Our hospital ship has been providing essential medical care and humanitarian aid to communities in need for many years, and it’s vital that we keep it in top condition so that we can continue to deliver this important work. We are grateful for the support of the local community and look forward to working together during our stay.”
“As Mercy Ships continues to expand its reach and impact alongside partners in West and Central Africa, the organization is calling on individuals, corporations, and foundations within Africa as well to support the mission. Together, we can bring hope and healing to those who need it the most,” added Brenda van Straten, Director Mercy Ships South Africa.
Similarly, a statement from Dormac reads, “We are proud to partner with Mercy Ships and support their important work in Africa, “said Mr Chris Sparg, CEO Dormac Marine and Engineering. ‘’Our excellent engineering support services will ensure that Mercy Ships can continue to provide medical care and relief services to people who desperately need it the most. We are excited and proud to be part of this effort.”
The refit process involves the ship will be alongside a repair quay, adjacent to Dormac berths and facilities. Dormac will strip, remove, and upgrade accommodation, including an IT upgrade on the vessel that will enhance the ship’s capabilities for its operating theatres. This IT platform will enable the Africa Mercy to match and communicate with Global Mercy (Mercy Ship’s latest hospital ship) and will support the provision of essential training of local in-country doctors. Additionally, there will be a drydocking phase, where the ship will go into The Prince Edward Graving dock (PEGD) to carry out all under water repairs and survey works in-line with Class requirements. The last phase, back alongside the repair quay, will be to further complete the IT and accommodation upgrades and related services.
Mercy Ship endorses strict adherence to a high level of quality and safety standards, which is endorsed by Dormac, and who can comply with the most stringent Marine and Offshore International Standards, boasting full DNV certifications for IS) 9001, 14001 and 45001. ‘’Dormac will ensure that the technical specifications are met and exceeded, and that we deliver on the project program so that the vessel’s future operational commitments can be met, ‘’said Mr Stephen Murray, General Manager, Dormac Durban.
Since its inception in 1978, Mercy Ships has been committed to providing life-changing surgeries and medical care to those in need. The Africa Mercy, due to arrive early March into Durban, South Africa is staffed by a dedicated team of medical professionals and volunteers from around the world who provide free surgeries, dental care, and other medical services to people in need. Many of the ship’s medical and programmatic crew will continue to serve on board the newest Mercy Ship, the Global Mercy ™in Senegal during this shipyard phase.
The Africa Mercy is equipped with five state-of-the-art operating rooms, a dental clinic, an ophthalmology unit, and a laboratory. It is also home to a community of more than 400 crew members who work tirelessly to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
Mercy Ships has more than 30 years of history of working in Africa, where access to surgical care can be severely limited and on-location training is welcomed. The organization has completed more than 200 port visits in 57 developing nations, providing medical care to over 2.8 million people and performing more than 100,000 life-changing surgeries.