I also would like to commend the member for Ryan for putting this forward as a motion.
With regard to the previous speaker, I am a little bit disappointed at the criticism that he is targeting at our government in relation to the support that we offer for Papua New Guinea. I was in the Western Province only the week before last where I was involved in opening a ranger program that was funded by this government. It would never have happened if it had not been for this government providing that funding. It is making the first steps ever to provide service through the aid programs in those remote treaty villages—something that has never existed in the past. Money was spent but it was certainly not reaching the areas where it was targeted.
With regard to YWAM, a lot has been said about the history of this wonderful organisation, so I am not going to go back into that history. What I would say is that, when you start looking at the statistics, delivering basic services into Papua New Guinea poses very serious challenges, with 80 per cent of the population living in very remote areas without connectivity by road et cetera. It is a nation where 43 per cent of the population is under the age of 15. There is a good reason for that: one in four Papua New Guinean children will not survive to celebrate their 40th birthday. This is where YWAM comes in and does a fabulous job.
I am just going to give you some statistics from the 2014 annual report from YWAM. This is the sort of outcome that has been done with a very small amount of investment. There was a couple of million dollars invested recently, and I appreciate the $2 million investment that went into the organisation's work through the foreign affairs minister. In 2014, YWAM Medical Ships, this one small group who are all volunteers, saw 9,109 primary healthcare patients in 2014. There were 9,833 immunisations given. There were 2,960 dentistry procedures. There were 2,810 optometry clinic patients. There were 109 ophthalmology procedures. There were over 36,167 professional attendees at health promotion sessions and there were also 19,822 preventive health resources distributed.
It is all very well to give out tablets and pills and the likes of that, but more importantly you have got to deal with the core problems. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the poverty and the way in which these people live and the need for clean water, sanitation et cetera. So in 2014 they also held water safe training. There were 240 communities that were trained through the YWAM procedures. There was basic electricity and generator training for 33 communities. On the coastal communities they use only outboard motors et cetera. There were another 42 training sessions for that, and there were 44 sessions in the communities for safe water projects. These are very important. They are the things that help these communities start to manage for themselves.
The member for Ryan mentioned my wonderful wife, Yolonde. In February last year Yolonde was appointed the Cairns community ambassador for YWAM Medical Ships Australia, and she is the first community ambassador that has ever been appointed. Her role is to raise community awareness, recruit volunteers and help strengthen sister city relationships. The new ship, MV YWAM PNG, left Cairns in April 2015 on its maiden voyage, and my wife, Yolonde, joined the ship in Port Moresby for her first volunteer tour. There were 80 other volunteers on board, including the crew, and they did 4.5 clinical days. A lot of that work was done in the Central Province area. Just in that short time they visited 10 villages in two provinces where they saw 706 primary healthcare patients. They gave 494 immunisations, gave 81 health promotion sessions, saw 58 dental patients and saw 447 optometry patients.
The sad part about it was that there was a young girl there with HIV and tuberculosis who she saw on her first day. She looked to be about five or six years old and in a dreadful condition, but they were able to give her some treatment. This is the fabulous work that this wonderful organisation does, and I cannot commend it enough. I certainly encourage ongoing support from both sides of the parliament.