The YWAM Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG, is docked in Cairns this week after spending the last 8 months delivering healthcare and training in remote villages in Papua New Guinea.
Working in collaboration with local health authorities, over the last eight months, over 290,000 healthcare services were delivered, including direct care to over 29,000 patients in hundreds of rural and remote villages in Western, Gulf, Central, Milne Bay, Oro and Morobe Provinces.
The MV YWAM PNG is being hosted by Ports North for the week, which has provided wharfage free of charge for YWAM’s medical ships annual visits to Cairns for the past four years at a value of approximately $20,000 a year.
Ports North Chairman, Russell Beer, said the MV YWAM PNG and her volunteer crew carried out vital services to our northern neighbours and are always welcome in Cairns.
“Our ports are an important part of connecting communities and providing safe passage for those who carry out essential services in our region,” he said. “We are proud to be able to assist in the work of the medical ship MV YWAM PNG.”
YWAM Medical Ships Cairns Community Ambassador, Yolonde Entsch, was among the 904 volunteers that served onboard the ship during the recent outreach, along with four Year 11 and 12 students from Cairns and Cooktown.
“It was a joy for me to take a team of young people from Cairns to serve the people and learn more about the unique, beautiful culture – a nation so close to us here in Cairns. The students’ experience was really quite impacting.
“The Cairns community have really embraced YWAM Medical Ships – schools, businesses, and individuals, have raised funds, collected health resources and have volunteered.
“Ports North have certainly led the charge in our city’s generosity by providing wharfage for YWAM’s ships, we are very grateful,” said Ms Entsch.
The MV YWAM PNG is in Cairns for the week for routine maintenance before she returns to her homeport, Townsville. The MV YWAM PNG will return to Cairns in September for dry dock before sailing to Papua New Guinea for her next 8-month deployment.
Local Healthcare professionals, mariners and general volunteers are invited to volunteer onboard the MV YWAM PNG during her next outreach October – June. For more information, visit www.ywamships.org.au