In honour of International Maritime Day, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) has teamed up with YWAM Medical Ships to deliver healthcare and training to some of the most remote villages in Papua New Guinea (PNG) via the medical ship MV YWAM PNG.
The MV YWAM PNG and her team of volunteers deliver immunisations, maternal health services, dentistry procedures, eye care, and collegial support for rural health workers.
The MV YWAM PNG accommodates 100+ medical, marine and general volunteers and has an onboard dentistry clinic, day procedure unit, and laboratory. In addition to the services provided aboard the vessel, the MV YWAM PNG acts as a mother ship, small patrol boats are launched from the ship to reach even more remote areas.
Since the beginning of 2016, the MV YWAM PNG and her team of volunteers have treated over 30,000 patients, including a 17-year-old boy named Bray who had been blind for two years from cataracts. After a 45-minute surgery aboard the MV YWAM PNG’s day procedure unit, Bray’s sight was restored. Bray has now returned to school and is enjoying playing sport again.
Dow’s Regional President for Australia and New Zealand, Tony Frencham, said that Dow was helping to support the MV YWAM PNG’s fresh water supply machinery.
“Dow is proud to be supporting the MV YWAM PNG as it provides modern medical assistance to remote parts of Papua New Guinea,” said Mr Frencham.
Alan Chan, Asia Pacific Commercial Director at Dow Water and Process Solutions, explained:
“We donated DOW FILMTEC™ SW30-4040 membrane elements to enable the drinking water treatment system on board the ship. Our industry-leading reverse osmosis elements desalinate salty water and remove contaminants, making the water safe for consumption.”
The MV YWAM PNG is currently in her home port, Townsville Australia, where the vessel is undergoing further renovations and maintenance before she returns to Papua New Guinea.
The MV YWAM PNG’s Captain, Captain Jeremy Schierer, said he was grateful for Dow’s support as they prepare for their next voyage.
“With 100+ volunteers living and working on the MV YWAM PNG in challenging and difficult-to-reach locations, our reverse osmosis water makers are critical pieces of machinery.
“The membranes provided by Dow allow us to keep the reverse osmosis plants operating at top capacity – providing fresh water for our volunteers and clinics onboard while working in some of PNG’s most remote areas,” said Captain Schierer.
The MV YWAM PNG will set sail from Townsville next month for an 8-month outreach to isolated villages along PNG’s southern coastline.
For more information or to donate toward YWAM Medical Ships vital work in PNG, visit www.ywamships.org.au