By Eric Haurupma – EMTV, Port Moresby
The New Youth with a Mission Medical Ship, MV YWAM will extend its medical service delivery to people living along the coastal areas of Papua New Guinea, for nine months.
PNG MV YWAM Patron, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, said medical officers on board will be conducting medical operations in these areas through the existing health facilities.
At its commissioning yesterday, PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, announced the government’s prerogatives to assist with health supplies and facilities in these areas.
Sir Rabbie Namaliu said the YWAM medical ship program has been providing medical services to areas in the Gulf and Western Provinces only, since 2009.
Through this program, health care programs like immunisation, dental check-ups, and treating pregnant mothers, eye testing and surgical operations were conducted in health facilities, in these areas.
However, while seeing the need for many people in the other areas affected by health problems, it has expanded its services to areas along the coast of Central, Milne Bay and Morobe Provinces, especially Huon Gulf.
At its first commissioning ceremony yesterday, PM O’Neill announced that the government will provide additional funding support through health supplies and its health facilities. O’Neill said this is part of the government’s continuous support to strengthening relationship with churches, NGOs, and developing partners through health services in the country.
This is in line with the country’s national millennium goals, 10 years national health plan and PNG-Australia development partnership.
The YWAM Medical Ship arrived at the wee hours of Tuesday morning to undergo its official commissioning yesterday, and will be servicing the people of PNG for six months before returning to Australia.
This ceremony was witnessed by the prime Minister, development partners, concerned stakeholders, and government officials.