Henry Schein Cares Teams up with YWAM Medical Ships
Nestled in the southwest Pacific Ocean lays Papua New Guinea, one of the least-explored nations on Earth with more than 800 languages spoken and 1,000 tribes. It is a country of breathtaking beauty and incredible diversity, yet a closer look reveals a grim picture of human suffering – one in 13 children die before the age of five, five women die in childbirth every day, and there is just one dentist for every 100,000 people. The statistics are haunting.
Delivering health care in Papua New Guinea poses enormous challenges with 84 percent of the population living in rural and remote communities. These communities are scattered over rugged terrain, complex river systems, vast expanses of ocean, and an extensive coastline.
In an effort to overcome these challenges, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Medical Ships—a Christian charity that aims to care, connect, serve and build with communities—is working to provide access to care by utilising medical ships to reach some of the nation’s hardest-to-reach areas with medical specialists, health services, and mentoring and support for rural health workers.
YWAM’s medical ship, the MV YWAM PNG, is equipped with an on-board day procedure unit, medical laboratory, dentistry clinic, and small patrol boats to transport health care teams to multiple villages at once. The vessel can accommodate more than 100 medical professionals, mariners, and general volunteers.
Henry Schein Cares, the global corporate social responsibility program of Henry Schein, Inc., has been a strong supporter of YWAM Medical Ships’ work in Papua New Guinea for the past seven years. Its support has included the annual provision of dental consumables and equipment for YWAM Medical Ships’ dentistry programs and most recently, four brand-new dental chairs—in partnership for Planmeca—for the MV YWAM PNG’s dentistry clinic. Henry Schein has also supported public awareness of YWAM Medical Ships’ mission by hosting continuing professional development nights for dentists aboard the MV YWAM PNG, giving the organization the opportunity to expand its dental networks and share information about volunteering opportunities.
Through the support of Henry Schein Cares, YWAM Medical Ships has delivered approximately $25M in health care and training services to more than 156,000 patients living in rural and remote communities in Papua New Guinea. This support further underscores Henry Schein’s commitment to expanding access to care for at-risk and underserved populations, while also fostering educational opportunities for local practitioners and helping YWAM Medical Ships build its capacity to provide care for those most in need.