THREE of Papua New Guinea’s upcoming doctors have been getting critical exposure and experience in PNG’s rural villages in Oro and Milne Bay Provinces over the last three weeks while aboard the YWAM Training and Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG.

The final year University of Papua New Guinea medical students, Jemimah Taganny, Georgina Matengim, and Margaret Maku, are completing their final rural placement before they graduate in April.

The students have been serving in YWAM Medical Ships’ primary health care teams; assisting with outpatients and mother and child health services.

Medical student, Ms Jemimah Taganny, said the experience had been both challenging and positive.

“The experience gave me greater insight into the unique healthcare challenges in rural communities. It gives me a different view on how I can make an impact on rural communities because at the end of the day, that’s where everyone is,” said Ms Taganny.

Professor of Public Health at UPNG, Professor Georgia Gulda, said she was pleased her students were able to join YWAM’s patrol.

“We at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences are delighted to have students gaining YWAM training experience.

“We like our students to have experiences in as many of PNG’s diverse rural environments as possible, and YWAM adds some remote island and coastal medical situations to the other more land-based highlands, bush, and swamp medical situations students find elsewhere,” said Professor Gulda.

During the two-week Oro deployment, the students and YWAM’s teams treated over 3,100 patients across 24 villages. The students are currently serving in Kiriwina-Goodenough District, Milne Bay Province.

The experience has furthered the students’ excitement to launch into their medical careers. “I feel humbled that I will be able to go out and help people,” said Ms Taganny.