YWAM is pleased to announce the installation of a GeneXpert IV system on board its Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG, to support mobile testing for multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Region and the Morobe Province.
The GeneXpert system was co-funded by the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program and the Cairns community to support the Government of Papua New Guinea’s efforts in addressing TB in the country.
This GeneXpert system will enable YWAM Medical Ships to support Papua New Guinea’s rural health facilities throughout the Southern Region and Morobe Province. Local health workers will work alongside volunteer health professionals from many nations.
YWAM Medical Ships Clinic Manager, Angelica Langlais, said the installation of the GeneXpert was an exciting expansion as YWAM continues to contribute toward the nation’s efforts in combatting TB.
“We established a basic clinical laboratory aboard the MV YWAM PNG at the beginning of 2016. We started with processing sputum samples by microscopy and have gradually been adding to our facilities in order to increase and strengthen diagnostic services in PNG’s remote areas.
“Our work is achieved in collaboration with provincial health authorities and local health workers to improve linkage to treatment and reporting of TB. We are also members of the Stop TB Partnership.”
“We are grateful for the Cairns community’s support and the Australian Government, through the Direct Aid Program, in providing funding for the GeneXpert system. This is a great step toward increasing access to diagnostic services for remote communities,” said Ms Langlais. “YWAM Medical Ships has the unique ability to access remote coastal and island communities and provide support to PNG health facilities on the ground via testing capabilities.”
A range of businesses, students and individuals from the Cairns community raised over $32,000 toward the acquisition of the GeneXpert system through their fundraising initiative, the Cairns Corporate Challenge.
The GeneXpert IV system was installed aboard the MV YWAM PNG in Port Moresby three weeks ago and began its work in rural communities in Oro Province during the MV YWAM PNG’s recent patrol to the Ijivitari District.
YWAM Medical Ships is also helping to combat TB through health promotion.
Since 2016, YWAM Medical Ships has supported delivery of TB health promotion sessions to 19,768 individuals and TB screening for 621 patients in the Southern Region and Morobe Province.