YWAM Medical Ships has just completed its first 10 days of providing health services in rural Papua New Guinea. Deep in remote estuaries, the volunteer crew have delivered over 6,000 health services to people in incredible need.
Forty-eight marine and medical volunteers arrived in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea to one of the largest welcoming ceremonies in the region’s history. The next day, the work began, with people literally jumping into tinnies and dugout canoes to make their way to the vessel, moored just off the coast.
In just 10 days, the volunteers including doctors, nurses, primary health care workers, physios, optometrists, dentists and dental assistants, encountered diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, tropical wounds, worms, vision impairment, oral caries and more.
In addition to the health work, YWAM volunteers also engaged in community development projects – teaching locals how to repair broken outboard motors and generators – items which are critical to their livelihood in these remote areas. They also visited a drought-stricken village where rain water tanks had recently been donated; however the water could not be accessed as there were no taps. The engineering crew on board the ship helped to create make-shift taps; the next day the village experienced rainfall to begin filling the tanks and allowing for access to clean water.
Director Ken Mulligan says, “We are really proud of the outcomes we’ve seen in PNG over the last two weeks, both the big numbers – and the individual stories.”
The YWAM Medical Ship is currently in Port Moresby for a supply restock and to pick up volunteers before returning to the Gulf Province to continue the work early next week. It will return to Townsville for routine maintenance in October.