Western Province Governor, Honorable Ati Wobiro, has presented a cheque for K200,000PGK to YWAM Medical Ships on behalf of the Western Provincial Government, fulfilling a pledge toward annual operational expenses for the new Training and Medical Ship for the Southern Region and Huon-Gulf, MV YWAM PNG.
Governor Wobiro said the provincial administration is proud of its partnership with YWAM Medical Ships in the Western Province.
“We’ve had a wonderful partnership with YWAM Ships in Western Province over the past five years, both with the pilot vessel, MV Pacific Link, and now with this new vessel, MV YWAM PNG.”
“YWAM Ships’ commitment to the rural majority makes them a crucial partner in our service delivery strategy – their focus in the Bamu Rural LLG has given thousands of people access to dentistry, optometry, training and essential primary health care services in a region where health care has been severely lacking for a very long time.”
“Earlier this year, the maiden voyage of MV YWAM PNG saw the YWAM team and our Middle Fly District Health Services patrol team work together to deliver immunisations, maternal health services and training to every village along the lower Bamu and Gama Rivers in the space of just five days. It gave a huge boost to our rural health workers – together we are able to achieve so much more.”
“The new vessel has already shown its capability for significantly increased field work in 2015 and we are looking forward to even more with the second stage of its refit. This funding today represents our strong commitment to continue to work in partnership in strengthening health service delivery to our people in the Western Province,” said Governor Wobiro.
YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan, said that he was grateful for theWestern Provincial Government’s strong support.
“We value our friendships in Western Province and the leadership shown. It is wonderful to receive these funds today after a very full and successful year: starting with Stage 1 of the MV YWAM PNG refit, then maiden voyages here in PNG and now preparation for her next deployment in early 2016.”
“We have almost completed Stage 2 of MV YWAM PNG’s refit; including the construction of a brand-new onboard dentistry clinic and day procedure unit as well as additional capacity to our patrol boat operations from the ‘mother ship’. Once all renovations are complete, we will be positioned to help hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Southern Region and Huon Gulf – it’s a very exciting time,” said Mr Mulligan.
The MV YWAM PNG will arrive in Port Moresby in early February before departing for its first outreach in the Gulf Province on February 11th where the new onboard clinics will make their debut.
A celebration and unveiling of the new clinic is scheduled upon MV YWAM PNG’s arrival to Port Moresby in the New Year.
Other major contributions to YWAM Ships’ 2015 operational funding have come from InterOil, Puma Energy, Steamships Trading Company, PNG Ports Corp, Milne Bay ProvincialGovernment and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Major capital contributors to the vessel purchase included the PNG National Government and Morobe, Milne Bay, Central and Western Provinces. Some other 2015 pledges are yet to be received.