YWAM Koha, a 48m-long medical aid ship operated by Youth With A Mission (YWAM), is returning to Fiji for its second mission in the Pacific Islands. The ship provides essential dental and primary health services to people in remote areas who may otherwise have limited access to healthcare.
The strong and versatile ship is uniquely designed to carry both people and cargo to remote island communities. Custom-built shipping containers, on the ship’s deck, can serve as dental, medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, or classroom facilities. Based on Bridgewharf at Vessel Works, Tauranga, the ship has undergone regular maintenance and provisioning before embarking on its next mission. YWAM Koha will be focusing on dental services during this mission, but a small medical team will also be on board to assess primary health needs in each village and inform future medical programs and services.
During YWAM Koha’s first visit to Fiji in 2022, the crew provided medical care to thousands of people in need, treating a wide range of conditions such as infections, injuries, and chronic diseases. The ship’s second visit is eagerly anticipated by both the crew and the people they will serve. The true impact of the ﬁrst mission in Fiji cannot be adequately captured by numbers alone. The true impact is found in people’s lives transformed by the relief of pain, and increased quality of life for families. There are also indirect impacts that were witnessed during the mission, such as restoring hope in isolated islands and villages.
Despite this, here is a summary of the first mission in numbers.
- Primary health appointments 578
- Dental treatments 635
- Teeth restored 315
- Teeth extracted 998
- Individuals served with oral health education 1164
- Village health workers trained and resourced 10
- Number of villages where services were provided 29
- Toothbrushes and paste distributed 3000+
- Fijian dentists who served 10
- International volunteers who served on the ship 70+
- Amount of fuel consumed by the ship whilst in Fiji 52,000L
- Cost per unit of service $238
The ship is an inspiring example of how a dedicated team of volunteers can make a real difference in the lives of people in need. YWAM Koha’s second visit to Fiji promises to be just as impactful as the first, bringing hope and healing to isolated island communities.
For more information click here https://www.ywamshipsaotearoa.org.nz/
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