Townsville based Training and Medical Ship, the MV YWAM PNG, left Townsville’s shores this month for Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The vessel is now in Western Province, where a team of volunteer doctors, nurses, midwives, and general volunteers are delivering healthcare, training, and support for local health workers in rural communities.
YWAM Medical Ships Australia & Papua New Guinea’s (YWAM MS) Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan, said that Townsville had once again been an excellent home port for the MV YWAM PNG and her crew.
“We have been deploying the ship from Townsville to Papua New Guinea for over 13 years – over 2 million healthcare and training services have been provided.
“The support from the Port of Townsville, the Townsville City Council, local businesses, schools, service clubs, and the community at large has been significant – we are very thankful to be in PNG again after being well taken care of again by our home-port,” said Mr Mulligan.
The MV YWAM PNG had been in Australia for the last several months for dry dock and to be placed on the market to be sold.
“The goal is to continue to serve rural communities in PNG for many years to come – utilising multiple smaller vessels. The sale of the MV YWAM PNG will enable us to move to that new model,” said Mr Mulligan.
While the vessel has been in Australia, the YWAM MS team has been continuing to serve PNG in collaboration with local authorities via land-based primary healthcare teams, a training campus in Port Moresby, and a dental trailer that provides dental care to students in schools across Port Moresby.
Just a few weeks ago, a YWAM MS team serving in Western Province resuscitated a newborn baby who was delivered not breathing. After several minutes of CPR, the baby started breathing and let out a healthy cry. Both the mother and baby are now doing well.
The team onboard the MV YWAM PNG are providing antenatal care, childhood immunisations, outpatient services, tuberculosis testing, health education, and collegial support and mentoring for local health workers.
For more information on YWAM MS’ work in PNG, or to donate to the MV YWAM PNG’s upcoming outreach, visit www.ywamships.org