YWAM Medical Ships – Australia (YWAM MSA) signed a lease to buy agreement yesterday for the MV Ammari for $1 million AUD.
The goal is to raise the balance of $5.5 million AUD for the MV Ammari, which would operate as YWAM MSA’s new Training and Medical Ship for Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The vessel will replace YWAM MSA’s 34 year old vessel which is due to retire at the end of 2014 after operating in PNG for the last five years, achieving 167,839 health, training and community development outputs to date.
The purchase of the vessel has the support of the PNG Department of Health, the Provincial Governments of the Southern Region and the PNG Department of Planning and Monitoring, who contributed $1.5 million AUD toward a new vessel in October last year.
Ken Mulligan, Managing Director for YWAM MSA said, “We have a wonderful opportunity to strengthen Australia and Papua New Guinea’s enduring friendship.”
“The MV Ammari will enable us to expand our capacity in helping to reach the poor and the isolated through overcoming inhospitable terrain, significant infrastructure challenges and the extreme remoteness of many PNG communities that are only accessible by water.”
“The vessel will enable YWAM MSA to increase its annual engagement with individuals significantly, due to its capacity to operate all year round.”
“It would operate as a mother ship; patrol tenders would be launched from the vessel into remote coastal communities, transporting teams of health professionals to help build capacity in rural health workers and individuals in the areas of primary health care, dentistry, optometry and ophthalmology for up to one week at a time.”
The aluminum catamaran has a shallow draft, capacity to accommodate up to 100 people, and a versatile layout for the fit out of an operating theatre, dental clinic, outpatient medical/surgical clinic facility, laboratory and lecture room.
YWAM MSA will conduct a public awareness tour with the vessel along the East Coast of Australia July – December this year with the aim of raising much needed finances for the balance on the capital purchase price and the medical re-fit.
Mr Mulligan said, “We have received excellent support from businesses, corporations and individuals. Finalising the purchase of the Ammari is looking very favourable.”