Celebrations will be happening aboard YWAM’s Training and Medical Ship, the MV YWAM PNG, tonight before she sets sail from Townsville for her second voyage to Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Tuesday morning.
The voyage represents the debut of the MV YWAM PNG’s brand-new dentistry clinic and day procedure unit which will give thousands of people in remote villages access to dentistry and ophthalmic procedures.
A number of supporters will join in for the celebration of the unveiling of the new clinic, including the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Honourable Steven Ciobo, representing Australian Aid, a major supporter of YWAM Medical Ships.
YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan, said it was an exciting time as they prepare the MV YWAM PNG for her next deployment.
“This voyage represents the completion of another important milestone that we have been hoping and working for a long time.
“There have been so many people who have generously given to help get us to this point – we have such gratitude in our hearts as we get ready to sail more equipped than we ever have been before,” said Mr Mulligan.
The MV YWAM PNG’s new dentistry clinic and day procedure unit was built by Townsville contractors and has capacity for four dentists and two surgeons to be operating at once while additional mobile teams run primary health care and optometry clinics ashore. The new clinical space will also create space for Papua New Guinean dentists, ophthalmologists, and dental and ophthalmic students to gain experience, training, and support alongside YWAM Medical Ships volunteers.
YWAM Medical Ships Program Strategy and Partner Relations Manager, Dr Sarah Dunn, said the MVYWAM PNG will be in PNG from February – June, serving in six provinces in the Southern Region.
“We closely align ourselves with the development priorities of the Government of PNG; our teams will be working alongside the PNG National Department of Health, Provincial Health Authorities and local health workers in order to achieve good outcomes together.
“The new onboard clinics and our additional patrol boat will make such a difference to thousands of people in remote areas, we are very much looking forward to having it in action,” said Dr. Dunn.
Over 350 people have registered to volunteer onboard the MV YWAM PNG, including many Townsville locals.
Upon the MV YWAM PNG’s return to Townsville in June, a proposed helipad will be added to the vessel to help with emergency transfers, along with a laboratory to support Tuberculosis, Malaria, Leprosy and other essential diagnostics in remote areas.
Once all renovations are complete, the MV YWAM PNG will be positioned to operate 11 months of the year, serving an estimated 188,000 people per annum.
Local supporters of YWAM Medical Ships include Port of Townsville, 1300SMILES, Honeycombes Property Group, Parkside Development Group, Network Communications, Townsville Bulletin, Medical Dental Solutions, Coutts Reddington, Pacific Marine Group, Universal Cranes, Rosshaven Marine, Vetta Productions, NQ Cowboys, Verve Design, Towers Business Development and Food Relief NQ.