Caption: Manolos Pilot, Mr Jurgen Roh, YWAM’s Dr Sarah Dunn and the Wewak eye team, Dr Dennis Likia and Sr Josephine Kambu – in front of helicopter at Bamio.
VILLAGERS of Bamio, Western Province, were thrilled to hear rotor blades coming their way last week as Manolos Aviation flew in an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) and nurse to join the YWAM Training and Medical Ship anchored close by.
A local man, introducing himself as Steven, reported: “This is the first time we have seen a helicopter here in Bamio. It was an exciting day and we thank YWAM for coming.”
Manolos CEO and pilot, Jurgen Roh, landed the aircraft in the local elementary school ground to a throng of intrigued locals and the receiving YWAM crew.
“It was a long flight from Lae right across here to the border of Gulf and Western. The weather provided us some challenges but the mission was successfully completed,” he said.
“As Manolos Aviation, our team is committed to partnerships that practically assist the community so for us, assisting YWAM to build the right team here in a really remote area is a good fit.
“It gives you a great deal of satisfaction as a pilot to know you are part of something as significant as restoring sight to people in such a remote place.”
YWAM Medical Ships’ PNG Partner Relations Manager, Dr Sarah Dunn, was among those to welcome Wewak General Hospital ophthalmology registrar, Dr Dennis Likia, and scrub nurse, Sr Josephine Kambu off the helicopter at Bamio.
“It is a great pleasure – and the culmination of years of preparation here in the Bamu – to see an eye surgery outreach become a reality this week. An opportunity for blind eyes to see has finally arrived today,” Dr Dunn said.
“The logistical support from Manolos Aviation, valued at more than K30,000PGK, was the vital final step in bringing the surgical team together in this remote place.
“We are grateful to work with many passionate partners – the 100-strong volunteers aboard the ship, government and business partners in PNG, Australia and beyond plus strong community support. Also our colleagues on the Prevention of Blindness League here in PNG.
“Manolos in particular has donated more than K100,000PGK of flight services to support YWAM’s outreach work this year. We are very grateful and I’m certain so are the patients and families that directly benefit.”
He extended gratitude to the Fly River Provincial Government, Middle Fly District Development Authority, Middle Fly District Health Services and to Daru General Hospital for their practical partnership.
The MV YWAM PNG and her team of volunteers has just completed a successful outreach to Daru and communities along the Bamu River, collaborating with local health care workers and deploying around 100 people on patrol around the Bamu and Gama rivers. Many patients also travelled from Balimo to access the specialised eye services in particular.
The vessel returned to Port Moresby last weekend.