Training PNG’s workforce

Not only does YWAM Medical Ships deliver basic health services to isolated communities, it also plays a unique role in training PNG’s workforce.

The medical ships’ PNG patron, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, recently made this statement aboard the MV YWAM PNG soon after it reached Port Moresby from Townsville.

In its 2018 annual report, YWAM Medical Ships outlined that it engages in a range of activities to strengthen PNG’s health workforce, especially in rural areas. Activities also focus on building capacity within young Papua New Guineans serving as part of the program in non-clinical roles.

Expounding on that, PNG Patron Sir Rabbie Namaliu said they have a partnership with the UPNG medical school which allows students or graduates to get on board the ship and train under highly qualified medical professionals.

“Something which they wouldn’t ordinarily do in Papua New Guinea because they wouldn’t be available here,” said Sir Rabbie.

“But that’s a very useful program and also provide an opportunity for them, if they want to come on board the ship and volunteer for however long they wish to spend on the ship. That allows for them to do that. And quite a number of them have taken that opportunity.

“But all of our staff are volunteers. That’s from the captain, to the CEO, to people who are based in Townsville and all of the people that work on the ship when the ship is out conducting its outreach program.”

In 2018, YWAM Medical Ships’ first outreach in Finschhafen District, in Morobe, proved to be quite a highlight in regards to health workforce strengthening.

YWAM MS reported that Braun Hospital has a tremendous number of staff who are eager to be continually upskilled, as well as a community health worker (CHW) school full of students who were excited to begin their journey into health care. Forty-nine of these students joined the YWAM Medical Ships’ community engagement teams throughout the first week of the outreach.

Meantime, MV YWAM PNG has embarked on its 10-month outreach, beginning with Western Province.

Carmella Gware