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WORKS ON HOSPITAL SHIP IN HIS SPARE TIME For 29-year-old Danish Chief Officer Milan R. Falsing, it makes sense to work for Norden on the 7 seas. But it also makes sense for him to spend his spare time sailing with a hospital ship along the African west coast, where there is an almost unquenchable need for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who can treat people with large, serious illnesses.

I

t is the international humanitarian aid organisation Mercy Ships that so far has had the Norden employee join its hospital ship Africa Mercy twice. This is the world’s largest private hospital ship, which has previously served as the train ferry Dronning Ingrid (in English the Danish word Dronning means queen), running regular service across the Great Belt in Denmark during the years 1980-1997. GOES FAR BACK - My story with Mercy Ships began as a boy when I sailed with Dronning Ingrid between Korsør and Nyborg to visit my grandmother and grandfather on the island of Ærø, where I would later train to be a shipmaster. Sailing with the ferry was simply very special, and when the railway across the Great Belt opened in 1997 and the railway ferry service was discontinued, I kept myself up to date about the fate of Dronning Ingrid. After I had achieved my master mariner certificate in 2010, I actively went into the search to get on board again. I succeeded in doing so for the first time in 2011, when Mercy Ships had rebuilt Dronning Ingrid into the hospital ship Africa Mercy, Milan R. Falsing recounts. His job title on board the Africa Mercy is that of navigation officer, and his job consists of

keeping the vessel ready to sail at all times, so that it always and at short notice can sail to a new country where its assistance is needed. 7,000 OPERATIONS A YEAR The ship has 5 operating rooms, in which 7,000 operations are carried out on an annual basis, and it has space for approximately 80 in-patients. - Why do I spend time and energy working unpaid for Mercy Ships? Because it is meaningful. To help others, in my opinion, is a precondition for being human. Once you have met children and adults with tumours the size of basketballs, with eyes that cannot see, with teeth that have all but rotted away, or with something even worse, then you understand the importance of the job that Mercy Ships is doing. And for the thousands of people who are receiving treatment, this is invaluable help. Nothing compares to seeing our patients being cured. That is what it is all about, says Chief Officer Milan R. Falsing. Among Mercy Ships’ regular Danish donors is Orients Fond.

SOURCE: NORDEN NEWS SPRING 2016

When Milan R. Falsing is travelling with the humanitarian aid organisation Mercy Ship as navigation officer, there is also time to talk to the youngest patients.

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