The MV YWAM PNG has just completed a successful outreach to 21 villages along the Alotau North Coast and Woodlark/Murua Island group, Milne Bay Province.
Onboard to inspect the field-work during the first few days of the voyage was the Member for Alotau Open and Minister for National Planning, Honourable Charles Abel.
“The PNG National Government injected K5.5 million into the capital purchase of the MV YWAM PNG in 2014.
“It was wonderful for me to see, first hand, the incredible work that YWAM is doing in our rural areas and the return on this capital investment. I was amazed to see the mother ship concept in action; one week of this vessel operating can saturate a large area with both basic and specialised health services and training.
“YWAM Medical Ships have been hard at work in our country since 2010. And the value of services hitting the ground is nothing short of exceptional – by the end of 2016, more than K60 million PGK worth of health services will have been delivered to many difficult to service rural areas through this program.
“I’m very proud of the investment we’ve made as a national government. It has been, and will continue to be, an excellent return on investment,” said Minister Abel.
Over the course of the past 11 clinic days, 4,796 people received healthcare and training. This included direct collaboration and support for 36 PNG health workers from across the province under the leadership of the Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority (MBPHA). Mobile clinics were set up in a total of 21 villages.
Field activities included more than 1,000 immunisations administered, more than 700 spectacles dispensed and more than 600 dentistry procedures.
In addition to delivering healthcare and training, the MV YWAM PNG and her team of volunteers delivered immunisations, medication to aid posts and health centres.
YWAM Medical Ships Senior Program Manager, Dr Sarah Dunn, said that they were delighted to provide support to the health workforce in isolated areas of the province.
“Our outreaches are always a collaborative effort; our teams consist of provincial health authority staff, local health workers and our PNG national and international volunteers all working toward the same goal.
“One of the great outcomes that we achieved together was delivering a solar powered vaccine fridge to Gawa Island. Due to the remoteness of the island, the MBPHA team have had difficulties getting it out to the health facility for over five months.
“MBPHA’s Cold Chain Officer was able to join us for the voyage and together, alongside our electrician and engineers onboard, they installed the fridge in the local facility. It was a wonderful team effort that produced a great result – over 3,000 people on
Gawa and surrounding islands now have much improved capacity to access immunisations,” said Dr Dunn.
The MV YWAM PNG arrived in Oro Province over the weekend, aboard for the voyage is 99 people from 12 different nations.