THE Rotary Club of Lyme Regis has contributed to the largest ever Rotary Foundation Global Grant of $1.125million, which has gone to international charity Mercy Ships.
The Global Grant was led by District 1260 (Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire) and involved 341 clubs from the UK and Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and the USA. The Rotary Club of Lyme Regis pledged £250 towards the project.
Worldwide, two out of three people cannot access surgery when they need it because they either cannot afford it, cannot access it, or it is simply not available in their country. Every year, more than 18 million people die unnecessarily from conditions that could have been treated by surgery.
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to respond to this global surgery crisis by reducing the surgical backlog in developing countries while providing training and mentoring to increase local medical skills and renovating local facilities in each of the countries the hospital ships visit. Through this pioneering approach, Mercy Ships is able to change and save lives.
The Rotary grant will fund a range of sophisticated medical equipment, including a state of the art CT scanner, for the charity’s new ship Global Mercy, to launch next year, with six operating theatres, three infection isolation rooms, 147 ward beds, six post-operative recovery beds and four intensive care beds. It will also provide training and education for local healthcare workers onboard
This ship will be the largest purpose-built NGO hospital ship, doubling the impact of Mercy Ships on healthcare systems throughout West Africa.
Over the Global Mercy’s expected lifespan of 50 years, it is estimated that more than 150,000 lives will be transformed through free surgery.
The new ship will enable Mercy Ships to reach more people in desperate need, train more local healthcare professionals and serve two nations at once.
Henry Clarke, Mercy Ships UK chairman, commented: “The equipment that we are now able to procure and install onboard our new teaching hospital ship, the Global Mercy, with the monies raised by hundreds of Rotary Clubs in the UK and overseas, will help to transform the lives of literally thousands of the world’s most poor and needy who would otherwise be without hope.
“The Global Mercy is undergoing the final stages of construction with the aim of sailing into active service by the end of 2021.”