Ravu Kapa is one among many PNG rural health heroes YWAM Medical Ships is privileged to work alongside. Ravu originally trained as a Community Health Worker and subsequently specialised in the field of reproductive health, with a major focus on the role of men in family planning.
With over 5,000 vasectomies under his belt, Ravu also has a passion for community education and for seeing non-scalpel vasectomy services become more available to rural families through training others. As often as his own health facility can release him, he gets out on foot patrol to deliver services in remote parts of Abau District, Central Province.
A man on a mission with energy to match, Ravu jumped at the chance to join a YWAM Medical Ships’ outreach and extend the reach of vasectomy services into the Amazon Bay area, at the border of Central and Milne Bay Provinces.
“Being on the ship is a great relief for me because it has brought me to some new areas that I have not been to – new areas, new ground where I am able to do an important job… Offering vasectomy from this YWAM ship gives a great relief to people,” Ravu shared.
One of the key objectives of operating MV YWAM PNG is to provide a platform to extend the reach of local health services, helping the PNG health workforce to engage its own strength in desperately underserved rural areas.
The improvements of Stage 2 Refit (the addition of an onboard dentistry clinic, day procedure unit and laboratory) have helped achieve this goal with increased opportunities for health workers like Ravu to come aboard and apply their skills in remote parts of their own nation, coupled with peer mentoring from the international volunteer team around them. The ship helps these local heroes spread their wings and make a significant difference where the gains are great – right at the village level.
“I really am grateful for the YWAM Ship – for bringing me this far and taking my services and making it known [beyond my own village]. I believe that if my own people can change [to understand more about family planning] then other areas can make a change too.
“I really enjoy taking my own specialisation area, visiting the villages and talking to the people and helping them understand… Being a CHW specialised in vasectomy makes me feel great. This is what I really love to do. And the ship is giving me a boost. Improving my morale to encourage me to convert my skills into quality services for my own people here,” said Ravu.
What a wonderful privilege to work together in team as change-makers like Ravu chase their dreams of a bright and healthy future for Papua New Guinea.