Member for Sohe Open, Honourable Delilah Gore, has expressed her support of YWAM Medical Ships work in Oro Province by presenting a cheque for 100,000 PGK on behalf of the Sohe District Development Authority.
The funds are the fulfilment of a pledge toward operational expenses for YWAM’s training and medical ship, the MV YWAM PNG.
Minister Gore said that the funding represents the district administration’s commitment to reaching isolated communities in Sohe District with healthcare and training.
“I’m very proud of the partnership that we have established with YWAM Medical Ships. Alongside our local health workers, thousands of people living in Sohe’s remote areas are being reached with primary health care, dentistry, training, and even sight restoring eye surgeries – right on their doorstep.
“Local health workers also have the opportunity to receive mentoring and support, and our healthcare professionals and mariners are gaining hands-on experience and exposure to our country’s rural areas.
“This program is multifaceted – it is helping to bridge a healthcare delivery gap, while building sustainability within our communities and health workforce. I am very pleased with what has been achieved, and the bright future ahead,” said Minister Gore.
The MV YWAM PNG completed a successful collaborative patrol to the Sohe District in January this year, over 1,300 patients received healthcare and training in seven villages.
In addition to reaching coastal communities, remote inland communities around Ioma and Kira Stations were reached via MV YWAM PNG teams deployed by helicopter. The helicopter patrols were supported by the Sohe District Development Authority, Manolos Aviation and Oro Provincial Government.
YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan, said that it was joy to be part of accessing communities isolated by rivers, mountains and the sea.
“One of the highlights from our recent patrol to the Sohe District, was supporting advocacy around the re-opening of Manau Health Centre – a health centre that had been closed for three years with a catchment of over 16,000 people.
“Health workers from YWAM, Anglican Health Services and Oro Provincial Government set up a mobile clinic in the health centre and helped with the back-log of children that needed immunisations, treated sick patients, and installed a solar lighting kit – over 500 patients were seen over just a few days.
“It was wonderful to come alongside the community to help provide the strength and support they needed while discussions continued toward seeing the health centre open its doors again. I am pleased to report that the health centre has now resumed their services for the region.
“We are grateful for Sohe District’s strong support and partnership as we continue to strengthen the district’s rural and remote villages,” said Mr Mulligan.
The MV YWAM PNG arrived in Western Province over the weekend and the MV Pacific Link is currently serving in West New Britain Province.
Other major supporters of YWAM Medical Ships work in PNG include the PNG National Government, Puma Energy, Steamships Trading Company, PNG Ports Corp, Australian Aid, Manolos Aviation, Oro, Morobe, Milne Bay, Central, Gulf, Western, East Sepik, Madang and West New Britain Provincial Governments, Kiriwina-Goodenough District Development Authority, Henry Schein Halas, Network Communications, Samaritan Aviation, Fred Hollow’s Foundation and Pro-Ma Systems.