Firm provides vital support for global medical charity Mercy Ships

An orthopaedic patient in rehabilitation on board the Africa Mercy.
An orthopaedic patient in rehabilitation on board the Africa Mercy.

A Peterlee firm is helping a global charity to deliver healthcare services on-board the world’s largest hospital ship.

Rigel Medical, part of Seaward Group, supplies biomedical test equipment to Mercy Ships, an international charity.

We’re extremely grateful for the support that Rigel Medical has given us. Our trip to Cameroon was our biggest venture yet and it wouldn’t have been possible without partners like Rigel.

Jackie Abbott

The voluntary organisation delivers free medical care to some of the world’s poorest countries via a former passenger ship which has been converted into a hospital, with five operating rooms, an intensive care unit and 80 ward beds.

The Africa Mercy has just returned from a 10-month field service to Cameroon – and is scheduled to arrive in Conakry, Guinea, this month for its next service.

The ship is fitted out with equipment to test the hospital’s syringe drivers, which deliver a consistent flow of injected medication, and its volumetric pumps for infusion of fluids – all manufactured at Rigel’s County Durham base.

The testers, Rigel’s multi-flo infusion pump analysers, provide an essential service on board, as they ensure patients are administered the correct doses at all times.

Without them, patients would be put at serious risk of receiving the wrong levels of medication – which can be fatal.

Rigel also provided the ship with a suite of essential testing devices, including a 288+ electrical safety analyser, a portable tester designed to perform routine tests on medical electrical equipment, and a UniPulse defibrillator analyser, which ensures defibrillators are working correctly.

Rigel Medical, soon to be rebranded as Seaward Medical, has a long-standing commitment to supporting charitable organisations and overseas healthcare providers.

The firm has previously supplied equipment to be used in voluntary missions to Asia and Africa.

Jackie Abbott, corporate relations at Mercy Ships, said the equipment was vital to the charity’s work: “We’re extremely grateful for the support that Rigel Medical has given us.

“Our trip to Cameroon was our biggest venture yet, and it wouldn’t have been possible without partners like Rigel.”

Jack Barrett, national business development manager at Rigel Medical, said: “We’re delighted to continue helping Mercy Ships carry out its important work.

“The work the team accomplishes is simply incredible, and it’s a real honour to be able to contribute to the mission in such a vital way.”