Mercy Ships

With funding support from USAID, Fistula Care partnered with Mercy Ships International to support fistula repairs on its floating hospital ships, the Anastasis and the Africa Mercy, in Benin, Ghana, Liberia, and Togo. Fistula Care support to Mercy Ships ended in 2010. Visit the Countries page to learn about countries currently supported under the new Fistula Care Plus project.

The Africa Mercy

The Africa Mercy is the world’s largest nongovernmental hospital ship. A floating medical facility with 78 beds and six operating theaters, it provides a range of surgical services to the populations near where it moors. The Africa Mercy has provided fistula repair in numerous West African ports since 2001, when Mercy Ships International received a request from the government of Sierra Leone for this service. The Africa Mercy has a volunteer staff of 450 from more than 30 countries, and it provides training for fistula surgeons who wish to build their skills. The Africa Mercy collaborates with local organizations and institutions to identify fistula cases. In many instances, it provides surgical services to patients with more complex cases who have not had successful initial surgeries.

Program Results


From July 2006 to March 2007:

  • Sixty-three fistula repairs were supported through EngenderHealth’s ACQUIRE Project on board the Anastasis.


From July to September 2008:

  • Fifty-nine fistula repairs were supported.
  • Three surgeons were trained in fistula repair.
  • Three nurses were trained in pre- and postoperative nursing care.


From January to December 2009:

  • One hundred fifty-one fistula repairs were supported.
  • Two doctors were trained in fistula repair surgery.


From May to August 2010:

  • Ninety-seven fistula repairs were supported.
  • Two surgeons were training in fistula repair surgery.