By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
Over 400 members from the Townsville community gathered yesterday (06/10/2016) to raise over $180,000 AUD (K434,335) at YWAM Medical Ships annual fundraising event, “Breakfast by the Sea.” The YWAM Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG, has been docked in Townsville, for the last three months undergoing further renovations before she returns to Papua New Guinea next week for her humanitarian health care service delivery.
Honoured guests that were in attendance include Queensland Premier, Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk, YWAM Medical Ships PNG Patron and former Prime Minister of PNG, the Right Honourable Sir Rabbie Namaliu and Australian Patron, Honourable Mike Reynolds. Queensland Premier, Palaszczuk said that she was honoured to support YWAM’s work in PNG alongside other members of the Townsville community. “I’m quite amazed at the amount of money and the generosity of people’s time that has come from Townsville to support such a worthwhile cause,” Palaszczuk said. “I hope as a state we can continue to forge even closer ties and relationships with people in PNG,” he said. “This is such an outstanding project, it makes me incredibly proud to know that such great work is happening in regional pockets of our state to serve PNG,” Palaszczuk said.
The Townsville community has embraced the MV YWAM PNG as their own by supplying wharfage, funds and in-kind support for both the vessel and their headquarters located in Townsville’s CBD. YWAM Medical Ships PNG Patron, the Sir Rabbie Namaliu, said that the support that the Townsville community has extended to Papua New Guinea over the years has been outstanding. “For the last six years YWAM Medical Ships has been meeting the real needs of village communities in Papua New Guinea; some 100,000 men, women and children have been given medical, dental and optical assistance, assistance that has saved lives, restored sight, and ensured the birth of healthy babies,” Sir Rabbie said. “The ongoing and growing support from the Townsville business community and the wider community of Townsville has helped make this possible,” he said. Renovations completed onboard the vessel over the last three months include the construction of an improved patient waiting area, a medical re-stock room, a training space for local healthcare workers and the addition of an extended-range patrol tender.
The MV YWAM PNG will return to PNG’s shores next weekend, ready to commence an 8-month deployment to the Southern Region and Huon Gulf. Since the beginning of 2016, YWAM’s medical ships, the MV Pacific Link and the MV YWAM PNG have treated over 52,000 patients, valued at over 8 million PGK. Major supporters of YWAM Medical Ships work in Papua New Guinea include the PNG National Government, Puma Energy, Australian Aid, Steamships Trading Company, PNG Ports Corporation and Morobe, Milne Bay, Oro, Central and Western Provincial Governments, Pro-Ma Systems and the Sohe District Development Authority.