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Hope Comes Ashore: The Doctors Of Mercy Ships

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Each year, 313 million surgical procedures take place around the world. Unbelievably, only 6 percent take place in our poorest nations, and it's estimated that 5 billion people worldwide lack access to safe and affordable surgery. The problem is especially dire on the continent of Africa, where people are routinely forced to do without medical services that are taken for granted elsewhere in the world.

Forty years ago, Don and Deyon Stephens decided to change that. They made a key observation: 50 percent of the world’s population lives within just 100 miles of the water. And with that realization, the idea for Mercy Ships was born.

Starting with one ship, the two retrofitted it to build a floating hospital. And since then, volunteers from 49 countries have worked to heal Africans who would otherwise have no access to medical care. To learn more about the Stephens and Mercy Ships, read the Radius feature.

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