The YWAM Medical Ship has now been in Papua New Guinea for just over a month with this year’s outreaches. The teams of volunteers are doing great. Ryan and I can’t wait to join them aboard the ship with the boys in August!
Here are some stories and updates from May in PNG:
Post-partum mum and bub care.
A one month-old baby in the village of Karate weighed only 5.3 pounds. Her mum was on tuberculosis treatment and had no milk. It was a complicated case with a number of social issues. We tried to find breastfeeding mums to help feed this baby but since she was from another village they local women weren’t keen to help. There was also a lot of fear that they would catch or give HIV. One of our volunteers on the board (a mum of a young baby Judah’s age) was able to express milk to give this baby. That example helped show the village women that they could indeed help this little baby as well. The next day we saw the mum with the malnourished baby smile for the first time. We’re praying that this little baby is able to gain weight and that mum’s TB treatment will work.
In the village clinics as well as onboard the ship we’ve taught classes addressing specific concerns local workers have asked us about:
- What to do when a mum has a post partum hemorrhages.
- When to do a vacuum extraction on a baby.
- How to manage a high temperature.
- How to treat severe dehydration due to diarrhea.
- What to do for a baby that needs milk when mum has no milk supply.
- Teaching youth and young adults about HIV.
- Malaria sessions.
- Maternal health sessions.
Clean birth kit education and distribution.
The Primary Health Care volunteers have handed out lots of clean birth kits and taught both men and women about delivering babies since the men in that particular village are involved in the process.
A patient recovering from a severe illness was left blind. Our physio onboard was able to assess ways of making his home and life easier as well as taught him how to walk with a walking stick.
Our physio also had a patient that had one leg about three inches shorter than the other, so our beloved mechanic fashioned her a platform shoe out of one of his pairs of work boots and she wore them with pride. You could tell she was thankful just by the huge grin on her face.
The team gave out 40 family mozzie nets and 40 single mozzie nets. They came up with a good system to make sure that every family in the village received the nets, holding the leaders accountable for making it happen.
We’re doing lots of immunizations, some days doing around 100 in just one day.
Dental and optometry.
We’re not doing as many dental extractions or spectacle fittings as we’ve done during the last two years’ outreaches. This is a good thing! It’s because many villagers have already received our services in years past and are still doing well.
*photo thanks to Katie Wilson.