The Papa Francisco is the best-equipped hospital ship in Brazil’s Amazon Region. She was launched in August 2019. Her mission is to serve more than 1,000 isolated communities along the world’s longest river - villages where there is no hospital and no doctor.
The need is great. For many Amazon river-dwellers the closest hospital is a day’s boat-ride away. Once there, patients often wait days to be treated. But a hospital ship will now bring relief to some 7,000 people in an area larger than Germany in the north Brazilian Pará state. This ‘sign of solidarity’ is the brainchild of Johannes Bahlmann, the Catholic bishop of Óbidos, and has been named in honor of Pope Francis. The Franciscan Friars of Assisi in the Providence of God are committed to running the hospital ship, which is already underway with its mission to bring healing and the Word of God to the people of the Amazon. An exclusive report from Deutsche Welle.