PORT MORESBY, WEDNESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2019 --- On behalf of the National Government, Minister for National Planning, Hon Richard Maru, presented a cheque of K1 million today to YWAM Medical Ships.
This K1 million is the first part of the K2.5 million commitment by the National Government to YWAM Medical Ships to boost investment into rural health across the Southern region and Morobe Province.
“Government is pleased with the important services provided by YWAM Medical Ships and is therefore committed have the balance of K1.5 million available to YWAM in the coming weeks. YWAM, like Samaritan Aviation are strategic partners of Government and we will continue this partnership into the future,” Minister Maru said.
The funds are part of a collaborative program facilitated by YWAM Medical Ships Australia & Papua New Guinea (YWAM MS) who work with National Department of Health and a range of partners to mobilise rural health patrols in remote areas of the Southern region and Morobe Province. The mother-ship MV YWAM PNG is operated by YWAM MS, with multiple land-based teams simultaneously deployed from the vessel.
Minister Maru said that the funding reflects the National Government’s commitment to reach isolated communities with essential care.
“This is a collaborative investment between YWAM MS, the National Government, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Puma Energy, and many other organisations. We are working together to leverage from one another’s resources to reach hundreds of remote communities across the Southern Region and Morobe.
“YWAM MS uses the strength of volunteer labour to deliver a very cost-effective program. Hundreds of Papua New Guineans and friends from many nations are involved. During the last 12 months alone their donated time and labour was estimated at over 11.1 million PGK.
“YWAM MS’ work is centred upon assisting to mobilise health workers and maximise the reach of rural health resources. This plays a part in strengthening our health system. Alongside the wonderful clinical work, the combined teams achieve, they also build capacity in rural health workers, assist with transport of essential supplies and targeted health facility upgrades. Community health education is also a major feature.
"For example, already this year through this program, we have delivered over 16,300 immunisations and 168 eye surgeries in hard to access places, plus a lot more.
“The integrated nature of the outreach model drives down per service costs plus the donated volunteer human resource and excellent private sector support means funds with YWAM MS go a very long way. Our government is proud of this investment alongside our other strong commitments in the health sector,” said Minister Maru.
The MV YWAM PNG and her team of volunteers are currently serving communities in the Middle Fly District, Western Province. A primary health care team has also been deployed for an extended-range patrol to Lake Murray LLG, among one of the least-reached areas in the province. The patrol is a collaborative initiative mobilised between Middle Fly District Health Services, YWAM MS, and Mission Aviation Fellowship.
YWAM MS Patron for Papua New Guinea, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, said the funding received today was a much needed boost and deeply appreciated.
“We are grateful to receive these funds today which will enable us to continue to build on the wonderful work that has been happening in some very remote areas of the country.
“The ship provides an excellent platform to mobilise and equip hundreds of healthcare professionals, mariners, and general volunteers for service in our remote areas,” said Sir Rabbie.
The MV YWAM PNG and team of volunteers will continue their patrol in Western Province throughout this week, before returning to Port Moresby for a one week restock turn-around and then embarking on the next patrol.