Over 96,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Vanuatu

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that 46% of the 142, 812 eligible population in high priority areas have received their first doses.

The eligible population is all persons 18 years and over.

The MOH conveyed that 39% of over 160,000 eligible population in all areas have received a COVID-19 dose so far.

Vaccination is initially being administered at the main centres of Efate, Santo, Tanna and Malekula.

The vaccination campaign will then be rolled out in the rural areas.


Vanuatu launches renewed Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health Policies

Public Health Director, Len Tarivonda said, “The Mental Health Policy and Strategy 2021-2030 is a guide to ensure provision of mental health and wellbeing as an essential component of health scare and services is achieved for all people in Vanuatu.”

“We must not forget that 74% of deaths in Vanuatu is due to NCD,” he stressed. He said,” Vanuatu is committed to reducing NCD related deaths.”

Race against time to vaccinate Vanuatu's population before borders open up

Vanuatu is locked down from international travellers but already P&O Cruises is accepting reservations for a May visit to Mystery Island in the country's south.

ABC Radio Australia reports the Director of Public Health Len Tarivonda is doubtful borders will even re-open by then.

He said people in the community on nearby Aneityum Island would first have to be vaccinated before cruise ships can visit.

Church leader calls on community to help stranded nurses in Vanuatu

Elder Lawrence Dick said the Solomon Islands nurses, whose contracts ended recently, cannot return to their country yet due to Covid-19.

He made the appeal for help after members of his church visited the group taking food and other basic supplies.

"They left their homes to come and serve the people of Vanuatu at the time when Vanuatu need nurses," Elder Lawrence said.

He said during their visit he met with one nurse who served in the Banks islands of Ureparapara, one of the country's most remote islands in the north.

Vanuatu and Philippines mark 35 years of diplomatic relations

The Vanuatu Government, through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Ati, and the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Internal Affairs, Ishmael Kalsakau, sent congratulatory messages to all the people from the two countries, to mark the event.

Minister Ati conveyed willingness to strengthen the two countries' relations and continue collaboration in multilateral forums on points of mutual interests such as health, agriculture, trade and capacity building. 

World Food Day celebrated in Vila East School

Students displayed their local food preparations from the respective stations inside the school compound.

Vila East School Agriculture teacher, Thomas Kaltapau, said the students will simply exposed to life skills that are commonly practised within households.

The event enabled the students to demonstrate planting of local crops, traditional peeling and grating of root crops and coconuts, simboro preparation and traditional method of starting a fire.

Vanuatu on La Nina watch, wetter than normal weather expected

The country could experience wetter than normal periods for the upcoming wet season if the ENSO status continues to develop toward La Nina.

According to the department, the country experienced below normal to above normal rainfall during August and should expect above normal rainfall for the next three months (October, November, December 2021).

Vanuatu seasonal worker dies in New Zealand

COL Murielle Meltenoven confirmed the deceased is from Malekula and he was employed with the Seeker Farm, but his name is being withheld according to the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Arrangements to repatriate the deceased are yet to be discussed, once the Labour Department receives all confirmed details from the coroner.

Meltenoven confirmed her office will be liaising with the High Commission based in Wellington and the New Zealand High Commission in the repatriation arrangements.

Nearly 300 Ni-Vanautu workers arrive in New Zealand

As part of the government arrangment, RSE labourers will complete five days' isolation at their places of work instead of the normal two-week stay in hotel quarantine.

New Zealand Ethical Employers chairperson Tanya Pouwhare said the incoming workforce leave behind struggling families and economies at home.

She says they're cooperating with strict health measures to keep them safe from Covid.

Tanya Pouwhare said 150 RSE workers will arrive from Samoa on Saturday and in upcoming weeks, a Tongan contingent.


Vanuatu’s MOH conducts mental health activities

Acting Medical Superintendent, Dr. Jimmy Obed said the field of mental health is still a relatively new era in Vanuatu.

“Vanuatu has its challenges when it comes to getting help or support for mental wellbeing. For example, stigma and discrimination, lack of understanding of the importance of mental health, scattered islands, socio-economic status and many more. But each of us has a role to play to support each other and stay mentally healthy,” he said in a statement.