Samaritan Aviation bringing new float plane

National
Samaritan Aviation pilot Nick Mosca picking up a sick patient and delivering medical supplies to May River in East Sepik last month. – Picture courtesy of Samaritan Aviation

By GYNNIE KERO
SAMARITAN Aviation is planning to bring a third float plane into Papua New Guinea next year, chief executive and co-founder Mark Palm says.
The faith-based organisation operating out of Wewak has been using float planes, known locally as saman balus, to provide life-saving services over the past 11 years.
Palm told The National: “We have been flying the saman balus to remote communities along the 1,100km Sepik River at no cost to the locals.
“We are currently operating two sea planes and plan to add our third saman balus next year.
“We are grateful for generous donors from the US and the partnership we have with the PNG Government.
“Since 2010, our staff have flown more than 1,400 critically ill patients, with over 40 per cent of them being mothers and babies.
“We have also delivered more than 90,000kg of medical supplies, including vaccines, antibiotics, medical equipment, and transported medical staff, pastors, teachers and education materials.
“The past year, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to directly serve 129 villages in the remote river areas.
“We work closely with the East Sepik health authority to offer medical services delivery to the remote communities.”

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