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Long before daybreak, hundreds of people have gathered outside the screening centre. Mothers hold children who are unable to walk, women cover tumours with brightly patterned cloth, and many others stand waiting for a chance to be seen. This week, thousands of people have come with the hope that they might find healing. Every year, our screening staff is torn between the crushing medical need in countries like Benin and the renewed hope we can offer through our life-changing surgeries.
At the Mercy Ships screening centre in Cotonu, Benin, volunteer nurses Kayla Innis and Nathan Claus, met with a potential patient who has come with a large tumour on the back of his head. The Beninese man (left) is one of thousands who heard about the arrival of Mercy Ships and visited the screening centre to find out if treatment in the form of free surgery is possible. There, he was met with a gentle touch, deep attention and careful consideration as the initial screening assessment takes place. This is the first of several phases in Mercy Ships screening process, with more to come. The team at Mercy Ships is privileged to meet the people of Benin and looks forward to providing free surgical solutions to help address critical needs that are impacting so many.