Like most Australians with full time jobs and a family, Rory found his most rare and precious commodity was his time.
However, his time was the gift that he wanted to give to the people of Papua New Guinea (PNG). He left his dental practice in Brisbane and his of family four for a week and volunteered as a dentist onboard YWAM Medical Ships – Australia’s (YWAM MSA) medical ship, the MV YWAM PNG in Central and Milne Bay Provinces.
Sailing from Port Moresby, across the southern seas of PNG and ending in Alotau, he spent five days in the dentistry clinic treating patients – many of which had never seen a dentist in their lifetime.
With just one dentist for every 100,000 people in PNG, Rory and the dental team’s services were in demand by many rural villages the MV YWAM PNG visited over the course of the week.
Rory was astounded at the lack of oral hygiene and the extent of cavities and decay he encountered; even in children as young as four years old.
“On one patient I performed as many extractions that I would do in an entire year back in Australia.
“The work took me out of my comfort zone and was quite challenging at times – but so worthwhile and rewarding.
“Being able to relieve patients of pain and discomfort that they’d endured for so long was a privilege to be a part of,” said Rory.
Over the course of five days, Rory and the dental team saw 58 patients, extracted 77 teeth, performed 64 restorations and provided oral hygiene education to hundreds of people.
“I was amazed at how well the team worked together – we worked as one because everyone was there for the same purpose.
“The MV YWAM PNG is providing a way for dental services to reach the areas that need it most – I encourage all dental professionals to consider volunteering,” said Rory.
YWAM MSA has one to two week volunteering opportunities available for dentists, dental assistants and dental hygienists onboard the MV YWAM PNG in remote areas of Papua New Guinea. To register your interest, visit www.ywamships.org.au