Navigation Links
Mercy Ships Recognizes International Day of Disabled Persons

As the International Day of Disabled Persons is recognized on Dec. 3, Mercy Ships celebrates with the story of a young boy born with backwards pointing feet. After free surgeries onboard the Africa Mercy, a floating hospital docked in Liberia, Benedict's feet are corrected now and he can run and play with the other children his age. High resolution photos and video can be downloaded at

Garden Valley, TX (Vocus) December 2, 2008 -- Eleven-year-old Benedict Menkoah has always stood on his own two feet -- even though they pointed backwards.

He probably doesn't know that today the world promotes issues surrounding disability, that it's the 60th anniversary of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or that his story is an encouragement to others around the world. What he does know is that now, thanks to several free surgeries onboard a Mercy Ship, he can run with his feet facing forward.

"I am able to walk now," Benedict says. "I want to go to school. I can play football. I can play with friends." He is also accepted by his extended family for the first time in many years, allowed back home because he is now "able." As he scurries up a tree to show how easy it is to climb, Benedict adds confidently, "I want to be a doctor." With no money to send his son to school, his father can only hope.

As one of 16 children growing up in rural Liberia, Benedict's bi-lateral clubbed feet were a disfigurement and burden that some family members could not bear. Only an older sister who was a teacher and saw how Benedict himself refused to surrender to his handicap, continued to hope that her little brother's disability would not define the rest of his life. She took care of him, along with her own son and three of Benedict's siblings.

In 2007-- and again in May of 2008-- his sister, Beatrice, brought Benedict to the Mercy Ship in Monrovia for two successive operations on his right foot and then his left foot. Since leaving the ship, he has attended regular physical therapy appointments at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia.

Ironically, Benedict's last physio appointment is scheduled for December 13th, the day the Mercy Ship departs from Liberia.

According to the WHO, eighty percent of all disabled people live in developing countries.

"Poverty and disability are so closely related," states Dr. Gary Parker, chief surgeon and 21-year veteran volunteer onboard the Africa Mercy. "But the additional social stigma added to the inaccessibility of health care, further complicates the difficulties that disabled people face. Every person we can help will also help change attitudes in their community towards the stigma of disability," he said.

Originally invited by the UN in 2005 to assist in the health care vacuum created by the nation's civil war, Mercy Ships surgeons have seen much change in the country since the end of the war and free elections.

High resolution photos and video can be downloaded at

About International Day of Persons with Disabilities:
International Day of Disabled Persons aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. "Dignity and justice for all of us" is the theme of this year's International Day for Persons with Disabilities, as well as for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The World Health Organization estimates there are about 600 million disabled people around the world, or about 10 percent of the population. Eighty percent of all disabled people, says the WHO, are in developing countries.

About Mercy Ships:
Over the past 30 years, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $670 million, directly impacting more than 1.9 million people. More than 850 crew worldwide, representing more than 30 nations, are joined each year by thousands of short-term volunteers. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, community developers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Go to

For more information contact:
Pauline Rick
U.S. Public Relations Manager
Mercy Ships

Diane Rickard, Director Media Relations
Mercy Ships International
UK Tel: 44 1438 727 800


Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2008 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Independence Blue Cross Finalizes New Multi-Year Agreements with Mercy Health System and St. Mary Medical Center
2. University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry Moves to Larger Facility on New Corktown Campus
3. Area Dentists, University of Detroit Mercy Team Up to Provide Free Dental Care to Low-Income, Uninsured Detroit-Area Children on Saturday, February 2
4. AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies Acquires Community Behavioral HealthCare Network of Pennsylvania
5. VIDEO from Medialink and Philips: Philips Electronics Unveils First Imagination Light Canvas at the New Mercy Medical Center in Rogers AR
6. INSPIRIS and Mercy Care of Arizona Named Winners in URACs Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards
7. Mercy Corps Delivers Lifesaving Supplies to China Earthquake Survivors
8. Redskins' Draft Pick Malcolm Kelly Energized By Trip To Mercy Ship In Liberia
9. Mercy Health Plans Announces New Name for Their Medicare Advantage Plans: Mercy Medicare Advantage
10. Keystone Mercy and DVCH to Offer Screenings for National Health Center Week
11. Seamobile Provides Foxnews To Mercy Ships
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Mercy Ships Recognizes International Day of Disabled Persons
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion ... Cut Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an informative ... a minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of ... 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", which is hosted by Hollywood ... issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing the world with a wide ... subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a time. , In the latest ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping ... platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based ... the knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The men and women on this list ... the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment to their community through ... as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. , Becker's Hospital Review ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... European Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: ... Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities"  report to their ... has announced the addition of the  ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. --> Research ... addition of the "Self Administration of High ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market ... User (Hospital, Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: