30,000th Free Surgery Provided by Mercy Ships Onboard the Africa Mercy

Mercy Ships volunteer Surgeon Dr. Glenn Strauss poses with Pierre, the 30,000th surgery patient onboard the Africa Mercy since deployment in 2007. ©Mercy Ships, credit: Saul Loubassa

…I’ve been privileged to train 47 ophthalmic surgeons who will provide tens of thousands more safe cataract surgeries in Africa and around the world,

This International Volunteer Day marks two incredible milestones onboard the floating hospital ship the Africa Mercy, currently docked in Cameroon. Volunteer ophthalmic surgeon from Tyler, Texas Dr. Glenn Strauss performed the 30,000th surgery on the ship — ten years after performing the very first surgery onboard the Africa Mercy in 2007. Mercy Ships, founded in 1978, has worked tirelessly to combat the global surgery crisis of 5 billion people without access to safe surgery.

“I could never have imagined when I did that first operation on the AFM in 2007, that now, 10 years later, I’d be doing the 30,000th case. Not only that, but I’ve been privileged to train 47 ophthalmic surgeons who will provide tens of thousands more safe cataract surgeries in Africa and around the world,” said Strauss.

Dr. Strauss’ main goal has been to train ophthalmic surgeons as well as to provide the surgeries himself. He teaches the revolutionary MSICS cataract technique (manual small-incision cataract surgery) which is a low-cost, small-incision form of extracapsular cataract extraction and is more easily multiplied in developing world settings.

“These milestones are the epitome of what Mercy Ships strives to do, and Dr. Strauss is truly the image of our volunteers, all of whom are dedicated and caring individuals who change lives every day, thousands of times over,” commented Don Stephens, President and Founder of Mercy Ships.

Since deployment 10 years ago, the Africa Mercy has docked in nine African countries for a total of 12 field services. The surgical specialties offered in the ship’s state-of-the-art operating theaters include maxillofacial, plastic reconstructive, women’s health – including obstetric fistula, pediatric orthopaedics, general, and ophthalmic (adult and pediatric).

In addition to providing surgeries, the volunteers on the Mercy Ship also…

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