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The African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, H.E. Prof. Mohamed Belhocine, granted an audience to Dr. Pierre M’Pele, Mercy Ships Africa Bureau Director, on 07 September 2022 in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.

The two officials discussed the baseline assessment of existing gaps for the access of Surgical, Obstetric and Anasthesia care in Africa, conducted by Mercy Ships between 15 January and 15 July 2022 in 602 district hospitals in 32 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa. The study is focused on areas as infrastructure, human resources, service delivery, information management, finance, impact of Covid-19 on surgery, governance and leadership, as well as pediatric surgery.

Results of the assessment will be handed over to the African Union Commission, as a decisive step into spurring policy dialogue with AU Member countries on ways to strengthen national health systems to the benefit of African peoples.

These results will also be made public at the end of 2022, during a grand event placed under the distinguished patronage of the African Union, and gathering researchers who carried out the study, as well as key policy-makers, the civil society and media.

Founded in 1978, Mercy Ships is an International Non-Governmental Organization committed to bringing life-transforming change for families and communities irrespective of race, religion or gender, through free and quality health services delivery, including safe surgery and other medical care that are non-existent in needy countries around the world. Through its scientific endeavours, this organization is also very much concerned about positioning research as an instrument to upsurge political action towards bettering the lives of African people.

This year marks the 30th year of this International NGO’s presence on the continent, as it was in 1990 that it started deploying its hospital ships to provide free surgical care, training and support to local development projects in Africa.

Congolese Dr. Pierre Kilebou M’Pele, who has been Mercy Ships’ Africa Bureau Director since 2017, is specialized in epidemiology, public health, infectious diseases and tropical medicine.




For further information please contact:

  1. Mrs. Esther Azaa Tankou | Head of Information Division | Information and CommunicationDirectorate, African Union Commission | Mobile: +251911361185 | E-mail:
  2. Ms. Claudette Chancelle BILAMPASSI MOUTSATSI| ESTI Department, African Union Commission | Tel: +251 115 517 700 | 
  3. Mr. Gamal Eldin Ahmed A. Karrar | Senior Communication Officer | Information and Communications Directorate |

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