Mercy ship to visit Sierra Leone
Preparations are currently being finalized for a humanitarian hospital ship, AFRICA MERCY, to visit Sierra Leone according to reports from the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington. The ship which is currently in West African waters is scheduled to arrive in Freetown in early 2011 for a ten-month Field Service.
The protocols and memoranda of Understanding for the visit were signed on April, 8 2010 between The Honourable Vice President, Alhaji Sam-Sumana, representing the Sierra Leone Government and Mr. Don Stephens, Chief Executive representing Mercy Ships. The necessary interface by the Sierra Leone Government with the port, and the provision of Â Â security, water, sanitation in collaboration with all related ministries willÂ Â also be concluded, including all arrangements for ingress and egress of the ship for ten months.
Earlier, high level meetings and intensive discussions were held between Â Â Mr. Don Stephens, Founder and President of mercy ships and Ambassador Bockarie K. Stevens of the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Washington DC which has been the coordinator of the visit to ensure proper and smooth arrangements between the competent authorities in Sierra Leone and â€˜MERCY SHIPSâ€™.
During their stay, the team will provide various medical services and facilities to countless needy Sierra Leoneans who would otherwise not be able to have access to some of the state of the art facilities because of their non availability locally. It would also be recalled that this is not the first visit of mercy ships to Sierra Leone. Indeed, all the crew in the new MERCY SHIP currently finishing a ten month field service in the port of Cotonou, Benin, and which will be relocated in Freetown in February,2011 haveÂ served in Sierra Leone onÂ previous mercy ship missions and have fond memories ofÂ Sierra Leoneans and the country. They have all expressed their gratitude and honour to have had the opportunity and privilege to be partners in the service of Sierra Leone, especially with the West African Fistula Centre in Aberdeen, now under the able direction of Ann Gloag.ÂEmbassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Washington DC
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