Whilst “Medical Sailing Ministries” (MSM) began in 2008 with the [relatively] simple goal of using a sail boat to assist with remote-access medical transport around the islands of Vanuatu, a lot can happen in 7 years.
To date, three actual sailing missions (2009, 2010 and 2013) have been undertaken, but through the establishment of friendships, contacts, networks and a certain amount of leading and guidance, we are now involved in a range of direct, grassroots programs, all designed to build local capacity and resources.
Vanuatu Dental Care Service continues to deliver its message of Prevention with a steady stream of dental volunteers stepping forward to assist with Treatment and the relief of pain. In addition we arranged for 5 second-hand (but still very serviceable) dental chairs to be shipped to Vanuatu this year – all designed to improve the local treatment facilities.
Now for something completely different, and again, through a combination of friendships and networks established over the past few years, we have been able to assist a group called “Fruit of The Pacific” obtain and operate a mobile saw mill. Yes, that’s right, a saw mill, on the island of Tanna.
Chopping down tropical forests is not something I generally approve of, BUT, in this case it was Cyclone Pam that flattened the trees first. The purpose of the mobile saw mill is to salvage the timber for the re-building of clinics, schools, churches and other structures – before it goes to waste by rotting on the ground. Congratulations to Kylie at Fruit of The Pacific for all the work and organisational effort in finally pulling this project off.