The Mission Aviation Fellowship PNG (MAF) is maintaining its mission and purpose to see physical and spiritual transformation in the rural communities of Papua New Guinea.
Wherever there is an airstrip, they provide their service.
Last year, MAF PNG transported 36,000 passengers into the 212 rural airstrips in PNG, medivaced 433 sick patients for free, and has flown at least 45 flights a day to the remotest parts of the country.
MAF PNG commissioned its sixth new aircraft, which will be a solution to provide services to the unreached population by doubling their daily flights in and out of the airstrips. This new addition will now see MAF PNG operate a fleet of nine aircraft.
MAF Country Director, Todd Aebischer excitedly said, ’’the excitement today is that we commemorate our nine caravans, composing our single fleet here in Papua New Guinea. This has been a process and dream for several years, as we have looked at what is it going to take to position MAF PNG to continue on into the future. Our reason for being here is obviously to serve the remote communities. ’’
MAF PNG has also recently partnered with the Sustainable Development Program (SDP) under the Ariel Health Patrol program that will provide air and medivac services to the people of Western Province.
One of MAF’s aircraft is operating in Western Province, to see people in the remote communities have access to air service, but most importantly, getting access to basic health care service.
The MAF and SDP partnership over the past three months have seen more than 30 air patrols to available airstrips and touching the lives of at least 2,500 people.
They have provided immunization for babies for the first time, after several years of not receiving this important health service, provided basic health care, and helped villages with water, sanitation, and hygiene.
’’…And the people haven’t seen patrol for many, many years. We were able to immunize children that have not been immunized, for many years, and we are saving lives. SO it is a very important partnership,’’ PNG SDP representative, Susan Allens said.
Western Province is one of the least developed provinces in PNG, despite being the home of the OK Tedi Copper Mine.
The province is large and people are scattered, with many waterways and fewer road connections.
The high standard of MAF and the dedication of its services, to the rural population, is keeping people in remote communities in contact with the outside world.
’’We are also working on some behavioral change, coz what we are looking to do is to see a difference in a long period of time, so that in 20 years of time, we not going in and just helping people have got a disease, but we are actually changing the way people live,’’ said Allens.
By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Mt Hagen