Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Weiner strikes again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The rise of political tourism in the Middle East

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Video Music Awards, Rock en Seine and Puppa Lek Sen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Gulf of Porto, a paradise of land and sea

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Quarterback takes a stand by sitting down

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Anger over restaurant's decision to deny service to Muslim women

Read more

We travel to meet the people behind fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Saturday at 6.10 pm. We’ll be back in September with a new series.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

Latest update : 2013-10-30

Mercy Ships: Hospital of Hope

France 24 goes on board the Africa Mercy. This floating hospital with a crew of 400 offers the most advanced health care for free to some of the poorest people in the world.

When the Africa Mercy docked in Congo Brazzaville for the first time earlier this year, a record number of people came forward, believing this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be healed. This week Down to Earth visits the hospital ship that's changing lives along the African west coast.

Africa Mercy is the world's largest floating charity hospital. It has eight decks, five operating theatres and one mission: to offer modern medical care, free of cost, to patients who are often crippled, disfigured or blind.

Over ten months, the volunteer crew will treat thousands of adults and children, many of them living with conditions that have left them marginalised in their communities.

In just a few days they leave the ship, not only cured but with a renewed sense of pride.

The ship's stop in Pointe Noire has also provided a new opportunity to train doctors and nurses in local hospitals, so that the Africa Mercy has a lasting impact long after it sets sail for its next port. 

By Mairead DUNDAS , Marina BERTSCH , Juliette LACHARNAY , Emilie COCHAUD

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-07-14 women

Women and work: Why parity could add trillions to global growth

The world is a better place for women and girls in 2016 than even a decade ago. But that's not the case for everyone, and certainly not everywhere. Access to job opportunities is...

Read more

2016-07-01 environment

Extinction crisis: Saving the planet's species from an irreversible fate

Species are disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs' demise. Scientists are calling it the sixth mass extinction and it's largely driven by man. This week the...

Read more

2016-06-10 drones

Drones to the rescue: How pilotless aircraft are saving lives

Historically known for taking lives, drones are now emerging as one of the most promising tools for health and emergency services.

Read more

2016-05-27 Sustainable development

Plastic planet: Using today's resources tomorrow

This week Down to Earth explores the alarming rate in which plastic has plastered the planet. Since it was invented a century ago the petroleum-based material has invaded all...

Read more

2016-05-13 Senegal

Senegal: Lighting the way for off-grid communities

In this new episode of "Down to Earth", we head to Senegal, where only three out of five households have access to electricity

Read more