The largest hospital ship in the world, the Global Mercy, operated by international medical aid organisation Mercy Ships, will soon be mooring in Rotterdam for a two-week visit. On Saturday 26 February, the brand new ship will be festively welcomed in Rotterdam, right next to the Erasmus Bridge.
The 174-metre, 37,000-tonne ship Global Mercy departed from shipyard China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), Tianjin, China, at the end of July and then passed the Suez Canal on its way to Europe. In Antwerp, where the ship arrived in September, the ship was fitted out with medical equipment and other fittings.
With the visit to Rotterdam, the Global Mercy is officially presented to the public before it embarks on its mission: making medical care accessible in the poorest countries of the world. It will be possible to visit the ship physically or by taking a digital tour.
‘We consider it a great privilege to officially present the Global Mercy in the Netherlands,’ says Jan van den Bosch, Chairman of the Board of Mercy Ships Holland and involved with Mercy Ships since its inception in 1978. ‘We hope that people will be touched by the medical needs of people in large parts of Africa. It is Mercy Ships’ drive to do something about this enormous problem. We help the poorest of the poor, who have no access to medical care, free of charge. We are happy to share this mission with visitors to the largest hospital ship in the world.’
Subject to the corona measures in place at the time, the Global Mercy will be open for public viewing beginning Monday, February 28. Free interactive tours are organised daily. They will be immersed in the world of patients, medical volunteers, life on board and the operations and training that Mercy Ships provides on the hospital ship. People can also step aboard to experience the Global Mercy digitally.
In addition, Mercy Ships holds various (online) activities which offer schools, churches, medical and maritime professionals the opportunity to learn more about the work that Mercy Ships does in Africa.
Global Mercy doubles impact
The Global Mercy has six operating rooms, beds for 199 patients, a 682-seat auditorium, student academy, gymnasium, pool, café, shop and library. It accommodates 641 crew.
The Global Mercy will be the big sister of Mercy Ships’ current hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. With the new ship, Mercy Ships expects to double the impact of its work, both with life-changing operations and with the education and training of local health professionals in the poorest countries in Africa. With both ships, Mercy Ships will be able to perform more than 5000 operations annually, perform more than 28,000 dental treatments and train more than 2800 medical professionals.