Pacific eye specialists continue to serve communities despite strain

There is also a glaring shortage of specialists across the region which has exacerbated the problem.

However there is hope on the horizon with a number of countries recently getting their first Ophthamalogists or eye doctors and reinforcements imminent.

Eye health has a long history of being an issue with cataracts common and responsible for 80 percent of avoidable blindness in the Pacific.

But the field is under more pressure now with the emergence of diabetes eye disease off the back of a non-communicable disease crisis.

Vanuatu establishing NCD hubs

The new Director of Health Services, Russell Tamata said the two centres won't be attached to the referral hospitals but will operate independently as one-step centres to care for NCD patients.

Mr Tamata said the two hubs are in the process of partnering with churches to contribute items including wheelchairs to use to care for NCD amputees and other conditions.

He said with confidence that donor partners are already interested in the new project.


Vanuatu Education Ministry hosts gender analysis workshop Women Leadership

The objectives of the workshop were to identify current challenges and barriers to women being successful in gaining leadership and decision-making positions, provide participants with gender analysis skills and develop a Term of References for the MoET Women’s Leadership Network.

It further developed participants’ skills in conducting gender analysis.

Van-KIRAP project helps VMGD with data digitization

VMGD is the custodian of Vanuatu's meteorological data that dates back to the 1950's and longest complete records in the Pacific region.

The data rescue and data digitization work is part of the Van-KIRAP project that pursues to rescue historical records that remains in old paper records that requires saving and converted into a digital format that climate and disaster practitioners are able to use in the development of early warning systems.

6.2 quake off Santo, Vanuatu

The quake was at a depth of over 100km and struck at 4:13am local time, according to the United States Geological Survey.

There are no reports of damage so far.


ITU Officials invite ICT players to GSR-19 in Vanuatu

The invitations have come from the ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, and the Director of ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, Doreen Bogdan-Martin.

2 Vanuatu seasonal workers killed in car crash

The men were employed by Trevelyan Pack and Cool Ltd under the Vanuatu Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme.

According to James Trevelyan, managing director Trevelyan Pack and Cool Ltd, the men “were tragically taken in a motor vehicle accident on No 1 Rd, Te Puke.”

"We are currently supporting the remaining team in this trying time and our thoughts and sympathies are with the extended families back in Vanuatu."

According to a NZ Herald report, Trevelyan said staff were supporting their Vanuatu employees and were feeding about 60 people from their campsite.

8th Heads of Mission meeting held in Port Vila

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External stated that the meeting is an annual event that will bring all ambassadors, high commissioners and consul-general to discuss foreign and development policy objectives of the country. These discussions will involve ministries and key relevant Government line agencies. Ambassadors will report on their achievements for the year 2018 and the Government will provide new directions for the second half of 2019 and 2020.

Port Vila Scholarship Scheme opens

Ni-Vanuatu students enrolling in Foundation courses at the USP Emalus Campus in Semester 2, 2019, who are residents of Port Vila can apply.

Scholarships will only cover tuition fees for one Foundation course per student per semester.

Scholarships will be awarded based on academic performance including Secondary School results for students beginning Foundation-level studies and GPA for continuing Foundation-level students.

Additional criteria, to be applied at the discretion of the Selection Committee, are gender and financial circumstances of the applicant.

Vanuatu’s Ambrym volcano remains at level 2

The Volcanic Alert Level remains at level 2.

New scientific analyses suggest that the volcanic activity is likely to continue at this level.

VMGD stated that open cracks in the South-East Ambrym area during the December eruption 2018 may continue to open due to erosion. Major seismicity could continue to affect these cracks and weak layers or areas around the active craters.