By Merilyn Diau-Katam – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Medical ship, the MV YWAM PNG, has returned to Papua New Guinean waters for another medical mission, but this time in the form of a bigger and newly refitted shipping vessel.
The 60 metre long and five storey vessel is complete with a dentistry and a day procedure unit for cataracts surgeries, while additional mobile teams will run primary health care and optometry clinics ashore.
The mission group is aiming to reach more remote and rural areas.
According to YWAM Australian Patron, Mike Reynolds, the key outcome for this year’s medical mission is capacity building.
Reynolds is pleased with this year’s medical deployment, which has 350 internationally and locally registered volunteers from various fields of expertise, including local medical students from Dentistry and Ophthalmology.
“It’s about upscaling and training and making sure that PNG specialists and the students are able to have that wider experience in remote rural areas and that’s part of the role that we are playing, were are not just here for delivering service but we are about capacity building,” said Reynolds.
According to Youth With A Mission, from their previous trips to Papua New Guinea they face confronting and challenging conditions. They have assisted in treating tuberculosis, malaria and have seen cases of leprosy in remote areas of PNG.
One of the challenges they face while traveling on sea has been sailing through unchartered PNG waters.
The medical ship will be in Port Moresby for less than a week and will set sail on Saturday, for a five month medical mission to remote rural areas in the Southern Region and the Huon Gulf.