Daru residents welcomed YWAM Medical Ships – Australia’s (YWAM MSA) new YWAM Training and Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG, and its volunteers into the Western Province for the first time today.
The welcome was hosted by the Western Provincial Governor, Honourable Ati Wobiro, who presented a cheque to YWAM MSA for K1 million – fulfilling a p ledge the Western Provincial Government made towards the purchase of the vessel in November last year.
YWAM MSA has been visiting the Western Province since 2011 with their former vessel, the MV Pacific Link which YWAM MSA replaced with the MV YWAM PNG in December last year following the success of a five-month public awareness and fundraising campaign in Australia, PNG and beyond.
YWAM MSA’s Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan, said that the MV YWAM PNG’s size and specifications will enable YWAM MSA to increase their activities in the Western Province.
“We are grateful to be working alongside the Western Provincial Government, under the leadership of Governor Ati Wobiro, in helping to reach some of the most hard-to-reach places in the province. The isolation in these rural communities is pronounced, it’s a privilege to help bring hope and strengthen their capacity.”
“The MV YWAM PNG will operate as a mother-ship – patrol tenders will enable multiple teams to be out at once delivering essential health care and collegial support for rural health workers in remote villages,” said Mr Mulligan
Governor Wobiro said that YWAM MSA’s engagement in the Western Province is helping to address significant health challenges the province is facing.
“YWAM’s ship has the means to transport medical professionals, supplies, and equipment to remote areas. This innovative mission is one that we fully support – it’s a joy to welcome the vessel into the Western Province today; this ship represents hope to many people,” said Governor Wobiro.
The Governor also thanked the people of Australia for this meaningful relationship.
“This relationship is shared in a real and tangible way. I am certain that the people of the Western Province, especially mothers and children, will be very grateful for this very kind assistance.”
The MV YWAM PNG has been recently renovated to include an onboard dental clinic. An operating theatre, laboratory, outpatient facility, training facilities, and the addition of multiple patrol tenders will be added to the vessel during the second stage of refit.
The MV YWAM PNG’s maiden voyage to the Western Province includes a two day visit in Daru and five days in Bamu Rural LLG – where the Western Provincial Health team have asked YWAM MSA to direct their work due to the critical need for health service strengthening.
YWAM MSA’s supporters include the National Government through the National Department of Planning and Monitoring, Steamships Trading Company, Puma Energy, the Southern and Morobe Provincial Governments, PNG Ports Corporation, and the National Department of Health.