Teams of volunteer health workers visit districts

YWAM medical ships nurse Gemma Mackey administering immunisation to a child in Western. – Picture courtesy of YWAM

TWO teams of health workers from Papua New Guinea and seven overseas countries are visiting villages in Middle Fly and South Fly in Western to provide child immunisation, antenatal checks and outpatient services.
The foreign health workers are from the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) medical ship Australia.
“The teams are made up of volunteer nurses, midwives and rural healthcare students, representing seven nations, including five volunteers from PNG,” the YWAM medical ship said in a statement.
YWAM is working together with the Western health authority, PNG Sustainable Development Programme, Australian Aid and World Vision.
The teams are also supporting the coronavirus (Covid-19) response by providing rural communities access to the vaccine.
YWAM nurse Angelica Langlais, who is leading a team in Mabudawan, South Fly, said childhood vaccinations had plummeted following the pandemic, exposing thousands of children to preventable diseases.
“Our patrols have been focused on supporting the Covid-19 response and strengthening the delivery of other vital health services that were interrupted,” Langlais said.
“Transport, cold chain, provision of supplies, communication and accessibility are just a few of the obstacles we had to overcome. But we have been able to pool resources to find creative solutions.”
The other team is serving communities along the Bamu River in Middle Fly and providing mother and child health services and the Covid-19 vaccine.
Western health authority chief executive officer Dr Niko Wuatai said: “The ground covered in these couple of months working alongside local health workers and other partners has been challenging as we navigate pandemic obstacles.”