Surgery ship helps thousands in Africa

This is the basis of a new documentary, The Surgery Ship. An SBS production, it centres on the work of the Africa Mercy ship while it was docked in Guinea on the West African coast for 12 months performing surgeries for conditions long eradicated from the Western world.

Premiering at 8.30pm on 10 December on SBS1 and narrated by actress Toni Collette, the documentary aims to raise awareness of the Mercy Ships charity, which uses donations to fund the operation of the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest independent hospital ship. 

With a crew of 450 people, it provides free state-of-the-art medical care, surgical facilities and training to communities in West Africa that lack critical services. 

It has 82 beds and is equipped to carry out 7000 surgical procedures, including cataract removal, tumour removal, cleft lip and palate reconstruction, orthopaedic procedures and obstetric fistula repair. 

The crew aims to