YWAM Medical Ships – Australia (YWAM MSA) had the joy of working alongside three representatives from Middle Fly District Health on their most recent outreach in the Western Province.
The team traveled to the YWAM Medical Ship from Balimo for three days of clinics along the Bamu river. The representatives included the Middle Fly District Health Manager, Kimsey Waiwa, Director of Nursing Services at Balimo District Hospital, Gordon Mase, and the Middle Fly District TB ACSM Coordinator, Simba Oimagi.
The team visited the ship to find out how they could best partner with YWAM MSA while connecting with rural and remote communities along the Bamu River. For Kimsy, it was his first visit to the Bamu River; and he found the visit very impacting.
“The Bamu region itself has struggled very hard with a lack of healthcare services, it has affected the livelihood of the people down here.”
“They don’t have decent services and are forced to make their way paddling or by travelling up the mountains – some don’t even make it because they are very ill and cannot make it to the nearest health centre in time.” said Kimsy.
The team helped coordinate a measles immunisation drive, checked and referred Tuberculosis patients, and ran health promotion sessions, and learnt how to insert the Sino Implant (II); a family planning method that provides birth control for five years.
“YWAM approaches healthcare services in a very holistic way, clinics entail family planning, hygiene and sanitation, midwifery, and water purification.”
“We would like these services to continue in this area and wish for more support from local authorities. Possibilities with obtaining a new ship could expand services and also allow local community health workers to receive support.” said Gordon.
The visit was very positive, presenting a wonderful opportunity for YWAM MSA and Middle Fly District Health to collaborate, build a relationship, and learn from one another.
“I really enjoyed working alongside Gordon, Simba, and Kimsey on the field.”
“It was great to be able to exchange skills and knowledge and talk about strategy for the future and how to maximise our partnership.”
“It was also a lot of fun to come back to the ship each night after working hard all day to share a meal together and have some fun – that’s what is great about a ship outreach, you get to work, eat, and play together – it’s a great environment for developing friendships.” said YWAM MSA Ship Manager, Hannah Peart.
YWAM MSA has just commenced its final outreach for the year in the Western Province before it moves on to the Gulf Province next month.