Ebola outbreak affects Mercy Ships' schedule

Published on Monday, 18 August 2014 12:33 - Written by Staff Reports


The Ebola crisis in Africa has affected the work of an East Texas-based organization.

Mercy Ships, which is based in Garden Valley near Lindale, operates the world’s largest civilian hospital ship in ports on the coast of West Africa.

The organization, which provides free surgeries to people in need, has canceled one deployment and is reconsidering another because of the Ebola outbreak in its service area.

The epidemic already canceled a deployment to Guinea and the Mercy Ship is waiting in the water pending a decision about field service in Benin, according to a news release.

The Mercy Ship is designed for health care professionals who provide specialized surgical expertise and educational support. It is not, however, equipped to treat viral epidemics.

“Africa is and remains our priority, but crew safety drives every decision,” the charity’s president and founder Don Stephens said. “We request prayer as we consider all options to manage the risk, including deployment to other unaffected nations.”