Page 1

Medical Ships - Australia

news update February 2012 edition

G’day from Ken Preparations are well underway for the series of outreaches to PNG for 2012. There is much to do including building a new storage area, fixing up the medical clinic, and fixing the engine room. We’re also remodeling the dining area to make it more functional, as well as giving some attention to our zodiacs! Will you help us make this happen? We need your time, your support, and your skills in order get the Ship to PNG at the end of April. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Ken Mulligan - CEO YWAM Medical Ships - Australia

The IPHC team currently in PNG who are on a mission to help eradicate Lymphatic Filiriasis!

Young Health Workers Helping to Fight Neglected Tropical Disease in PNG The World Health Organization states that 1.3 billion people in 72 countries worldwide are threatened by Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis. The infection can cause abnormal enlargement of body parts causing pain and severe disability but also social isolation and financial hardship. The YWAM Townsville Introduction to Primary Health Care (IPHC) school is currently in the villages of the Gulf Province of PNG and experiencing great success with the delivery of LF treatment.

For more information:

Address: PO Box 1959 Townsville QLD 4810 Australia Phone: +61 7 4771 2123 Fax: +61 7 4772 44144 Email: Web:

LF frequently results in swelling in the body for long periods of time. The Filiria Journal states, “While the disease does not result directly in death, it is, after mental illness, the second most common cause of longterm disability globally.” LF is curable with mass drug administration implemented annually over five years. This is necessary to eliminate transmission of the disease.

The LF treatment also treats intestinal worms. These intestinal worms adversely affect a child’s development because they cause other problems, including malnutrtion and diahrrea. Treating children means a broader positive impact on communities, rather than just adults. Not only is the IPHC school distributing LF treatment, but they are also keeping busy with basic primary health care needs, educational seminars, and treating other diseases like malaria. Even people from neighbouring villages are hearing and coming to receive treatment and education.

Effects of Lymphatic Filiriasis on a human foot.

Fourteen Years Not Enough For Long Time YWAM Volunteer! A grandmother, Atelena, whose vision was impaired by cataracts has the surgical gauze removed and gazes on the faces of her grandchildren for the first time in 24 years. The ophthalmology procedure is relatively simple, but the tears of joy that filled her eyes as she looked on the faces of children she had known only by their voices were truly beautiful.

It was this moment fourteen years ago that made such an impression on Lynette Grubwinkler that she has been a short term volunteer with YWAM on their medical ships since 1998 as an ophthalmic theatre nurse. She and her husband, Rolf, from the North side of Brisbane, are making their preparations for another round of outreaches on the Pacific Link as it sails again to PNG this April to benefit those in need.

Other Volunteer Opportunities:

Lynette is ready in the Ophthalmology clinic for her next patient!

Medical volunteers including doctors, nurses, surgeons, optometrists, and other eye care professionals are needed for two-week outreaches from April to November. Those interested can apply through the website:


Chief Engineers

Chief Mates


Dental Assistants






Ophthalmic Nurses Housekeepers

Or simply email: 2012 Outreach Dates:

Gulf Province Outreaches: 1) May 10 - May 27 2) May 31 - June 17 3) June 21 - July 8 Lynette Grubwinkler (top row, far right) and the Ophthalmology clinic crew who sailed on Outreach Four in 2011.

Thanking our Partners:

Port Moresby Outreach: 4) July 21 - July 29 Western Province Outreaches: 5) August 2 - August 19 6) August 23 - September 9 7) September 13 - September 30

February 2012 News Update  
February 2012 News Update  

Featured in this issue is the Primary Health Care School, fighting the neglected tropical disease, Lymphatic Filiriasis! Also hear a volunte...