The Surgery Ship


The hard choice



More than 70% of the world’s population cannot access essential surgery. For many, the hospital ship Africa Mercy is their last hope. On board, a crew of world class medical volunteers from across the globe face the biggest challenges of their lives, working to provide lifesaving surgery to those with nowhere else to turn.



Season 1
  • Episode 1


    UK PREMIERE: Join volunteers onboard the Africa Mercy surgery ship as it offers life-saving treatment to people in some of the poorest places in Africa. (S1, ep 1)

  • Episode 2


    UK PREMIERE: The Africa Mercy brings help and hope to four children who suffered extreme burns as it continues its mission to bring medical care to some of the poorest people in Africa. (S1, ep 2)

  • Episode 3


    A cleft lip repair on a baby reunites Dr Gary with a former patient as the Africa Mercy's volunteers continue to bring much-needed treatment to some of Africa's poorest areas. (S1, ep 3)

  • Episode 4


    UK PREMIERE: In Benin, volunteers on board the surgery ship give vital treatment to patients whose lives have been severely affected by their deformities. (S1, ep 4)

  • Episode 5


    UK PREMIERE: The volunteer medics continue to treat extraordinary cases of medical need. Featured patients include Maimouna - a 17 year old past patient whose facial tumour has now returned. Ignace - a teenage boy with a neurofibroma tumour which covers half his face & young twins with identical bowed legs. Maimouna's journey to the ship is dramatic as ship doctor Nerida, who operated on Maimouna 4 years ago with Surgeon Tertius, travels to Guinea, which has only recently been cleared of Ebola, to find Maimouna and bring her to the ship for critical surgery.

  • Episode 6


    UK PREMIERE: The volunteer medics continue to treat extraordinary cases of medical need. The screening team travels upcountry to remote areas of Benin to bring the resources of The Surgery Ship inland. Featured patients include Faith - a young girl with severe bilateral bowed legs; Jonas - a return patient whose tumour grew back, hoping this will his last surgery; and Thierry - a man with a huge facial tumour and a dramatic journey of healing.