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Mercy Ships Recognizes International Day of Disabled Persons
Date:12/2/2008

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 www.mercyshipsnewsroom.org

About International Day of Persons with Disabilities:
International Day of Disabled Persons aims
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