Church leader calls on community to help stranded nurses in Vanuatu

An elder at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, is appealing to members of churches and the public to help their Melanesian brothers and sisters from Solomon Islands who are stranded 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.

"Since their contracts ended, they are still waiting for the Vanuatu government to give them a meal allowance," he said.

Staff from the Daily Post Newspaper also donated food to the group, and last week they received food from the island of Santo in the northern part of Vanuatu.

Last week, the Director General of Health, Russel Tamata said the Solomon Islands nurses should sign a short term contract while waiting for their repatriation flight on November 4.