Mercury Marine donated two 60-hp outboard engines that have been installed on a boat that will act as a hydro-ambulance, equipped to reach the most remote villages along the Congo River.
The boat, which will be docked at the port of Cremona, Italy, and commissioned by the non-profit organization For African Children, will have the proper equipment to allow birth and pediatric surgery aboard. It also will act as a primary rescue vessel in emergencies.
“If a child is sick in one of the remote villages in Africa, historically, their chance of survival decreased dramatically,” Mercury Marine president of Europe, Middle East and Africa Mike Shedivy said in a statement. “With this boat and the two Mercury outboard engines powering it, medical responders can reach those villages quicker and get folks the medical care they need immediately, increasing their chances of survival.”
Dr. Chiara Castellari, a Congo resident for 25 years, will be the primary on-call physician taking care of patients who require the hydroambulance.
The boat was recently featured on Cremona1TV in Italy.
“The North of Congo doesn't have streets, and the only way to help people is to reach them by river,” Shedivy said. “Thanks to this ambulance, many lives will hopefully be saved.”
The boat, now in Italy, will make its way to Africa and arrive before the end of the year.