Abau District Health Services and YWAM Medical Ships – Australia and Papua New Guinea (YWAM MS) completed a successful collaborative patrol in October. Ten members of Abau District Health Services joined forces with the 21-nation volunteer team (including a total of 38 Papua New Guineans) to conduct a mega-patrol over two weeks.
Multiple teams were deployed reaching inland and coastal communities across Amazon Bay Rural, Cloudy Bay Rural, and Aroma Rural LLGs. A total of 1,685 patients were seen, along with other community-mobilising projects.
Family Health Services Coordinator for Abau District and one of the team leaders on the patrol, Sister Rigolo Mokela, said the outreach was a success.
“The main focus was on preventive maternal-child health services.
“At the same time we have conducted supervisory support visits tothree facilities. Health workers out in these places can feel very isolated. It has been wonderful to again visit, conduct updates and check on the needs here. We have also been able to deliver medical supplies which were running very low. It’s been a great team effort,” said Sister Mokela.
Among the 1,685 patients that were seen included a 22 year-old woman with an advanced case of tuberculosis (TB). The laboratory aboard the MV YWAM PNG provided the young woman with a diagnosis within 24 hours, and treatment was provided Abau District Health Promotion Officer, Mr Veali Pune, and Iruna Health Centre on the same day.
YWAM MS team leader, Jennifer Kurylowicz, said, “This is the fourth year of partnership with the Abau District Health team and it is a sweet and productive relationship. The leadership of Sister Rigolo Mokela is particularly noteworthy.
“It is always inspirational to see teamwork achieving big goals in remote areas like this. The communities themselves are also proactive in their leadership. Great things are possible,” said Ms Kurylowicz.
Support to make the outreach possible include major contributions from the National Government of Papua New Guinea, Puma Energy, and the PNG Ports Corporation.