Formation in 2009
Medical Sailing Ministries Inc. (MSM Inc.) began in 2009 using the 53-foot Yacht Chimere to provide remote-access-health and eyecare transport, and logistical support, amongst the islands of Vanuatu. Delivering teams of local and volunteer health workers – optometrists, doctors, dentists and nurses – to some of the most remote and inaccessible villages.
MSM Inc. is run by volunteers and operates along compassionate and inclusive Christian-values.
Our approach is collaborative and multi-pronged, based on establishing direct, grassroots partnerships with Vanuatu organisations and individuals; plus, others in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere as opportunities arise.
Current Focus on Oral Health
As our knowledge of Vanuatu has broadened and the network of relationships deepened, our focus in recent years has moved to oral health. Specifically, the promotion of oral health education and prevention strategies to assist the Vanuatu Ministry of Health address the increasing burden of tooth decay and gum disease throughout the country.
Working with in-country partner PCV Health (Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu Health) and dental products manufacturer, DentaLife Australia P/L we have developed the supervised tooth-brushing-in-schools program called “Gudfala Tut Skul”, which means “Healthy Teeth School” in the local language of Bislama. The program is all about establishing life changing, brushing habits in Kindy and Grade 1 children, then using this knowledge and experience as a gateway into families and the community.
Our move into oral health, builds on our experience coordinating Vanuatu’s first-ever, complete National Oral Health Survey between 2016 and 2018, and then assisting in the writing of a National Oral Health Policy for the Vanuatu Ministry of Health.
While seeking to improve the nation’s oral health, we also create employment and support local business, through the manufacture of our own coconut oil-based toothpaste in Vanuatu; for use in the Gudfala Tut Skul program,
Recognition and Support
As the Gudfala Tut Skul program has expanded, recognition and financial support has been received by way of grants, from the Geneva-based FDI World Dental Federation (through their World Dental Development Fund) and the International College of Dentists (ICD)
In addition, DentaLife Australia P/L was awarded the 2021 Oral Health Partnership Award by the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) for their support of the Gudfala Tut Skul program through Medical Sailing Ministries.
Since the beginning, donations from individuals, companies and organisations have enabled our work to continue, with special grants, like the ones mentioned above, and also from Rotary International, being treated as a bonus.
As a “Deductible Gift Recipient” (DGR), MSM Inc. is able to offer a tax deduction for donations; which we are always happy to receive.
To assist with establishing a more secure, long term funding strategy, we are currently trialing a program called “Tooth Buddies”, involving the sponsorship of Vanuatu schools and Kindies by Australian and New Zealand groups, businesses and individuals. An initiative that not only focuses on improving oral health, but also on expanding cross cultural understanding and establishing grass-roots relationships.
In conclusion, we thank you for your interest in Medical Sailing Ministries and welcome your feedback and comments at any time.
As they say in Vanuatu Lukim Yu and Tank Yu Tumas
& Deb Allen
MSM Inc. Coordinators
- MSM Member Update – December 2020Welcome to the latest edition of the [ddownload id=”17013″ text=”MSM Member Update”]. As for most people, 2020 has been a year of challenge and disruption … along with many other things! But we are happy to report that the oral health initiatives we are working on, in partnership with the Vanuatu Ministry of Health, are gathering pace; for the benefit of ALL Ni-Vanuatu.
MSM Annual Report 2020In addition to the newsletter, we encourage you to have a look at the [ddownload id=”14823″ text=”MSM Annual Report 2020″], which has just been completed and can be found [ddownload id=”14823″ text=”HERE”] The Annual Report is packed full of information and has been compiled under the following headings:
SECTION ONE – 2020 AT A GLANCEMessages from the Coordinators Highlights from the past year Recognising volunteers Recognising supporters Messages from our Partners Where’s the boat?
SECTION TWO – FUTURE PLANS & PROJECTSProjects currently underway Plans and dreams the future
SECTION THREE – FINANCIALSFinancial Summary
Christmas Greetings & Gift IdeaWe thank everyone for their support, prayers and encouragement and take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and joyful Christmas. And … if you are looking for a unique gift-idea that just keeps giving, year-after-year, why not consider one, or more, “ Gudfala Tut Pikinini Paks” for just $15 each. More information can be found in the latest MSM newsletter, with the Order Form here. Merry Christmas and Tank Yu Tumas Rob Latimer & Mike Clarke Coordinators MSM Inc. PS As you plan your giving for 2021, you might also consider making a tax deductible donation to MSM Inc. We can assure you that virtually every dollar you give translates into practical assistance on the ground in Vanuatu, focused on building a positive and sustainable, “generational-shift” in oral health habits and outcomes, to combat the increasing burden of tooth decay and gum disease, thereby improving health for life. DONATE HERE