14 Apr 2014

Floating mobile medical clinic for Pacific underway

9:24 am on 14 April 2014

A New Zealand-based volunteer organisation is refitting a ship to travel through the Pacific, visiting remote islands providing free medical care.

Marine Reach is a Christian not-for-profit group, which has purchased the 55-metre long Pacific Hope through fundraising.

Once refurbished, the vessel will be able to carry up to 80 volunteers, including medical professionals, and 150 tonnes of supplies.

Marine Reach's chief executive officer, Captain Jesse Misa, says the former marine training vessel from Japan is now undergoing a refit in the port of Tauranga.

"Our primary project before the ship goes to the islands is the medical units on board, which will be able to do ophthalmology, primary health care, optometry and dentistry on board."

Captain Jesse Misa says Pacific Hope should be ready to sail next year and will visit Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu initially.