Caption: MV Pacific Link and her team of volunteers.
YWAM Medical Ship, the MV Pacific Link and her team of volunteers are celebrating the end of a successful deployment to Madang and East Sepik Provinces before the vessel’s patrols resume in the New Year.
Over 71,000 healthcare services were delivered to over 40,000 people in 125 villages across both provinces throughout 2016.
Field activities included immunisations, maternal health services, dentistry procedures, eye care, health promotion, and collegial support for local health workers – delivered in partnership with provincial health authorities, local health workers and other key stakeholders.
MV Pacific Link’s Managing Director, Brett Curtis, said that 2016 represented YWAM Medical Ships first visit to both Madang and Eask Sepik Provinces.
“We have established some wonderful relationships and partnerships with many people in both provinces throughout the year, it has been a real joy to collaborate and strengthen one another, knowing that this is just the beginning of much more to come.
“When I reflect on the thousands of people we have met this year, a stand-out is a man from Tarawai Island, he had been blind for the last three years from cataracts.
“After a successful surgery performed by a Wewak General Hospital surgeon onboard the MV Pacific Link, his sight was restored! The man’s joy after the patch came off was contagious, it was so special to witness such a transformation,” said Mr Curtis.
Over 250 healthcare, marine and general volunteers from around the world joined the MV Pacific Link in 2016, one third of those were Papua New Guineans.
Both YWAM’s medical ships, the MV Pacific Link, and the MV YWAM PNG, will spend the Christmas season in Wewak and Alotau respectively before patrols resume along the Sepik River and Oro Province in the New Year.
Supporters of the MV Pacific Link’s work in Papua New Guinea include East Sepik Provincial Government, PNG Ports Corporation, Fred Hollow’s Foundation, Swire, Consort Shipping, Sepik Coastal Agents, PNG Maritime College, Samaritan Aviation and Catholic Health Services.