Improvements include the addition of a second extended-range patrol tender, which will be used to transport mobile healthcare teams and supplies to extremely remote communities from the MV YWAM PNG, in collaboration with local health authorities.
The patrol tender was purchased, fitted out and installed with the support of funds granted from Australian Aid, who have committed $A2 million to YWAM Medical Ships' work over a four-year period.
YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, Ken Mulligan, said the new patrol tender will further increase their capacity to collaborate with local health teams, working together to help mobilise training and health care patrols over large distances and strengthen the rural health sector.
“In its mother ship capacity, the MV YWAM PNG overcomes isolation by traveling to remote locations and then deploying multiple teams of Papua New Guineans and international volunteers via patrols tenders such as these.
“With the full implementation of these two new patrol tenders, we now have even stronger capacity to deploy multiple teams simultaneously – enabling us to saturate a wide area in a short amount of time.
“We are deeply grateful to the people of Australia and their support. Many Australians serve aboard the ship and the friendship between our nations is very special. The addition of this boat will directly impact thousands of Papua New Guineans living in remote communities,” said Mulligan.
Field activities delivered by YWAM Medical Ships teams alongside rural health care workers include dental care, maternal and child health, eye care, mobile medical laboratory support, health promotion and collegial support and mentoring for PNG health workers. The University of Papua New Guinea also uses the vessel for student training placements.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Bruce Davis, said Australian Aid was proud to be supporting YWAM Medical Ships’ work.
“YWAM Medical Ships have had great success over their last seven years of operation within PNG. During this year alone, over 30,000 people living in 171 remote villages have benefitted from collaborative patrols in rural areas.
“Furthermore, over 200 Papua New Guineans have been directly involved in these teams. It’s that local leadership and capacity building that is very important to Australia’s aid program here in PNG.
“Along with effective partnership, relevant innovation is also something we strive to support.
“I salute YWAM Medical Ships' innovation – the purchase of these fit-for-purpose patrol tenders is another excellent example of our shared commitment to support the PNG government in serving the rural majority,” said Davis.
The MV YWAM PNG will be docked in Port Moresby this week before she departs for the Gulf Province this weekend. Over 100 volunteers will be aboard for the outreach from 12 different nations.
Other major supporters of YWAM Medical Ships’ work in PNG include the PNG National Government, Puma Energy, Steamships Trading Company, PNG Ports Corporation and Morobe, Milne Bay, Oro, Central and Western Provincial Governments, Pro-Ma Systems and the Sohe and Kiriwina-Goodenough District Development Authorities, respectively.
(YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, Ken Mulligan, in front of MV YWAM PNG)