Ryan Toupin is the lead intensive care nurse for oral and maxillofacial surgery aboard the Africa Mercy ship. This is his fourth deployment aboard the hospital ship, which has been on the coast of Senegal since January.
Normally, the ship docks at one location and stays there for about 10 months. The advantage of being stationed in one place is that the power and water supply can be controlled and maintained. As a result, high-quality medical and surgical care can be provided aboard the ship.
"A large percentage of the people here do not have access to safe and affordable medical care. In some cases, we see people with conditions that could be easily treated, but without treatment could lead to death for many people," says Ryan Toupin.