The Global Mercy, the largest hospital ship in the world, arrived in Rotterdam on Saturday. During the next two weeks, the Global Mercy will be presented to the world with free tours on board and online and events.
The docking of the newest ship of international medical aid organisation Mercy Ships next to the Erasmus Bridge attracted a lot of (international) interest. The free tours on board the ship are almost fully booked. On 15 March, the ship will leave Rotterdam waters and will set off on its mission in Africa: making medical care accessible in the poorest countries of the world.
Jan van den Bosch, Chairman of the Board of Mercy Ships Netherlands: ‘It is a tremendous honour to finally be able to present the Global Mercy to the public. The ship has advanced medical equipment and extensive training facilities. And, of course, it is incredibly large! With all these features, we will have an even greater impact on the lives of patients who currently do not have access to the care they so desperately need. We are grateful for the opportunity to welcome visitors to our ship and give them an impression of our people, our mission and our work. The next two weeks are going to be great.’
Construction of the 37,000-tonne Global Mercy began in 2017 and was completely funded by donations. The vessel is 174 metres long and 28.6 metres wide and was built at shipyard China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) in Tianjin, China. It left the shipyard at the end of July 2021 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.
Thevessel was built with sustainability in mind. AC condensation is filtered for technical use, reducing potable water use by fifty per cent and high-efficiency systems are said to reduce energy consumption by fifteen per cent.
Twice the impact in Africa
The Global Mercy is the big sister of the Africa Mercy, Mercy Ships’ current hospital ship. With the new ship, Mercy Ships doubles its impact. Not only with life-saving operations, but also with education and training of local health workers in Africa. Once both ships are operational, Mercy Ships expects to perform more than 5000 medical procedures and more than 28,000 dental procedures each year. They will also train more than 2800 medical professionals each year.
Pictures by Mercy Ships/Cees van der Wal.